Most organisations, over time, will engage contractors and subcontractors to help perform essential parts of a contract, certain business activities or daily tasks. Using contractors can provide a practical and profitable way of managing work across many areas including, construction, demolition, installation, repairs, maintenance, cleaning and catering. But who is ultimately responsible for contractor safety? And what do you need to do?
Does your organisation use contractors?
If so, who is responsible for Contractor Health & Safety Training whilst on your company premises and why does it matter?
Bringing contractors onto your site may expose them to workplace hazards including chemical and asbestos exposure, noise pollution and extreme temperature conditions. Similarly, activities performed by the contractors may put your employees and the general public at risk.
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, organisations that use contractors/subcontractors have a legal duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of anyone visiting its premises, including customers and contractors.
Employer responsibilities for contractor/subcontractor health and safety.
To ensure the health and safety of contractor’s and subcontractors and they work on site, you must:
- Vet all potential contractors and subcontractors meet and assess their health and safety policies, procedures and competency
- Make sure that all parties are aware of your existing health and safety requirements and are committed to adhering to them
- Conduct a thorough Risk Assessment to help identify risks and potential hazards
- Provide all parties with information, instruction and training on anything else that might impact health and safety
- Review the way that work is carried out, and regularly assess and update risk assessments to reflect any changes
- Manage and supervise work tasks to ensure the safety of all workers.
What does this include?
As employers, the selection of an appropriate contractor is paramount. Making sure your contractor is suitably qualified and trained will help reduce potential danger. All jobs regardless of size and nature, should be risk assessed and the findings clearly communicated to your contractors and employees. Contractors should be made aware of site rules and emergency procedures. Instructions and training must be provided to reduce the risk of harm. Cooperation between parties is key to keeping people safe and the work should be regularly managed and supervised.
What about contractors and sub-contractor responsibilities?
Just as organisations have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of contractors and subcontractors that they employ, contractors and subcontractors are also required, so far as is reasonably practicable, to adhere to their responsibilities under The Health and Safety and Work Act. As a result, UK legislation requires contractors and subcontractors to have a joint responsibility with their client to ensure health and safety requirements are met. In order to maintain a level of dedicated commitment to this process, full cooperation is needed to maintain codes of behaviour whilst on site.
How can we help?
The EssentialSkillz Contractor Safety Procedures eLearning Course, provides information designed to enable contractors to understand their legal obligations and their duty to reduce accidents caused by their workplace activities. The course will give you, and your contractors, the information you need to work safely together, reducing workplace accidents and ensuring best practice.
Looking for in-depth and engaging health and safety training? Explore our comprehensive eLearning library and try any of our courses for free.