Managing contractors

If you are employing the services of contractors on your premises, you will want to make sure that adequate precautions are maintained to ensure the safety of all whilst the work is done. This does not mean that you have to manage your contractors closely, but you do need to make suitable checks that health and safety will be properly managed.

Legal requirements

If a contractor is injured on your premises, you may need to show you have met your duty care. 
As an employer, you will have to meet additional duties under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. In managing contractors, the requirements relating to risk assessments; emergency procedures; co-operation between employers sharing workplaces; and persons working in host employers’ premises are of particular note.  One example of the practical application of this, are circumstances where you might have to provide contractors with adequate health and safety information.
You must make sure that your employees (and others who may be using your premises) remain safe whilst any contractor completes their work. You must also make sure that their employees are not injured by any of your activities whilst working at your premises. Similarly, the contractor must also make sure their employees and others (e.g. your employees, volunteers etc.) who may be affected by their work remain safe too. Depending on the nature of the work undertaken, this may require close cooperation to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken.
Irrespective of whether you are an employer or not, you may need to meet certain legal duties where construction work is being completed. This is under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.

Quick guide to managing contractors

1. Identify where you use contractors and the type of work they do for you.

2. Plan the work that contractors do for you.

3. Choose a suitable contractor to do the work for you.

4. Provide appropriate information to the contractors to ensure their health and safety on your premises. 

5. Co-operate and co-ordinate with contractors.

6. Manage and supervise the work.

7. Document all your arrangements and responsibilities for managing construction and review them periodically.