There are many examples where failure of the client-contractor relationship has caused fire or other damage to property, or a significant accident resulting in injury to others. The impact of such an incident on a business can be significant, resulting in loss of revenue, damage to reputation, uninsurable fines and in the worst cases the prosecution of both parties and/or imprisonment where severe injuries or fatalities have occurred.
Even if contractors visit you regularly, a high turnover of staff may mean that some of their workers are visiting you for the first time and therefore unfamiliar with the premises, unprepared for the hazards, or unaware of any safety measures they should take. They may have had no health and safety training at all.
What Do I need To Consider?
A policy for the selection and control of contractors;
Approved contractor status for those in regular use;
Obtain confirmation in advance of the work that the contractor holds adequate public liability insurance. The policy must cover the activities undertaken on your behalf i.e. hot work, or working at height etc.
Ensure a risk assessment is completed for each job and the contractor is involved
Put clear risk control measures in place and ensure supervision of contractors is effective.
What Key Actions Do I need To Take?
Introduce a Control of Contractor Policy and a Permit to Work system, authorise contractors using a questionnaire as part of a formal selection process, agree a formal risk control procedure including method statements where appropriate.
Ensure your managers and staff understand your control of contractors policy and their specific and general health and safety responsibilities when contractors are on site.
Where Can I Get Further Information?
The HSE provide information on a wide range of topics via the HSE Books website. For example:
‘Essentials of health and safety at work’
INDG417 Leading health and safety
HSG159 Managing contractors
INDG368 (Rev 1) Use of contractors: a joint responsibility
HSG250 Guidance on permit-to-work systems
Health and safety passport schemes
Advice and Support?
Please contact Marc Brennan if further guidance or advice is needed
Tel 07879 49356