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How do you Deal with Contractors on Your Site?

Published by Safety Net Team

May 30, 2023

Contractors are used for a whole range of activities in many businesses so how do you deal with them and how do you ensure their compliance with Health and Safety?

Employers’ Duties
Under the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974, employers are required, as far as is reasonably practicable, to:
• ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees (including protecting them from contractors’ activities)
• provide and maintain systems of work that are, as far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health
• provide adequate instruction and training
• carry out their activities in such a way as not to harm the health and safety of those other than their employees, such as contractors.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to:
• carry out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their own employees and persons not in their employment, eg contractors, that might arise as a result of the employer’s work activities
• ensure co-operation with other employers, who have employees working in the same premises, on health and safety arrangements
• supply any necessary health and safety information to the employers of any visiting employees
• inform any such employees of any qualifications or skills necessary for them to carry out their work safely
• inform contractors of any health surveillance arrangements
• inform any employment agency of any qualifications or skills necessary for that employment agency’s staff to carry out their work safely, and of any specific health and safety features of the work to be carried out
• be reasonably satisfied that any contractor assigned to construction work is competent to carry out the job.
For construction work, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 require clients appointing contractors to check they are competent to carry out the work.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance on the responsibilities of all parties when working with contractors in INDG368 Using Contractors. A Brief Guide.
Contractors’ Duties
Contractors, as employers in their own right, have health and safety statutory duties that are identical to those of an employer.
Self-employed Contractors’ Duties
Broadly, a self-employed person has the same duties as an employer or employee where his or her work could put others at risk, although some organisations choose to treat self-employed individuals in the same way as their own staff in terms of training and supervision.

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