Quick rundown before my question.
We own equipment at another company’s location and contract with them to operate that equipment as needed to produce material for us. We don’t own the property, don’t employ the people, just own and maintain the equipment and contract for the work.
We hired one contractor to install some new oil fired boilers for us at this site, one of which was replacing an obsolete one that still had connections to the oil tank.
We hired a second contractor to finish just the electrical connections and do the startup for the boilers.
The situation became problematic when contractor 2 showed up, two days after the installation was complete, they discovered oil leaking from the return oil line between the pump and the oil tank. They claim the pipe was just cut and there was no connection to the pump (they provided pictures) and it appears that way. So the oil tank was just gravity feeding out trickling during that time.
Contractor 1 says there is no way they didn’t connect that pipe and that this happened because of something contractor 2 did and they aren’t being honest.
Contractor 2 says they found it that way when they first showed up before they even touched anything.
Environmental cleanup is underway, or done at this point, but that bill is going to come and I can guarantee no one is going to willingly take responsibility for this. Up to now, day 2 of my being made aware of the situation that occurred on Friday, I have been acting as middleman between these two just trying to get the stories straight and figure out what happened. I’m not convinced I’m getting the whole truth, but I don’t really have much to go on other than what I’m being told by contractor 1, contractor 2, and the people who work at that site who were there.
My question is, is it reasonable for me to point them to each other and step away? Or do we need to remain in the middle since they are both hired by us on this job?