What You Need to Know about Controlling Contractors

Many organisations don’t realise how vulnerable they are when they engage contractors. It is easy to think that you have contracted out the problem. Surely that minor contractor is not going to cause you too much of a problem? And then you find that, without the appropriate controls in place, the contractor is not fully competent in the work they’re doing for you.

They could be damaging your fire precautions. They could be starting a risk of causing a fire. They could be entering confined spaces, with the possibility of being overcome by fumes.

It is the responsibility of your organisation to have a very rigorous approach as to how contractors work for you. You need to assess the competence of each contractor. Set out the health and safety rules of working on your site or in your building. Make sure that they have checked your method statements and ensure that each contractor really understands the interaction between themselves and your organisation, while they’re working for you.

For example, if contractors are going into a school with young children, then there will be additional precautions required in terms of making sure the young children are segregated from the contractor’s work.

Similarly, if a contractor is working in a hospital, they may be an expert in fire alarm systems but not in medical gas systems. They may find themselves in a medical gas plant room doing alterations, which could put patients at risk. When you work with contractors, it is your responsibility to make sure that they fully understand the health and safety implications for working with you.

Do you work with contractors? If you do and you’re worried about the health and safety implications, please do get in touch by calling us on 0118 929 9920 or clicking here to email us.

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