Online Induction >> Contractor Safety Management
Published 17/01/2022

Contractor Safety Management Checklist

Working with a company in one form or another means that you have likely interacted with a contractor in some way. It may have been for the advantages they offer over a regular employee such as having the benefit of specific skills which can be fantastic even though they are being employed on a short-term basis. Maybe it was because your company lacked the necessary skills in an area, or didn't have the time to train someone up who has them? Perhaps your company isn't large enough to cover every area needed? Things that need to be done that go beyond the scope of your company. If these scenarios ring a bell, then you most likely have indeed engaged or been around a contractor. They offer company's greater staffing flexibility and of course access to skills your staff may not actually have or may be in short supply, in some cases potentially saving money due to having fewer extra costs associated with the hiring and employment process. However, as they are not employed by the company and due to the fact, that they are likely working or have worked with a variety of companies, they aren't necessarily aware of all the relevant safety rules, concerns and considerations for your company. This can obviously cause issues if it is not addressed as they fall under the company's duty of care.

Duty of care is in itself a complex issue for whilst all hired contractors are under the company's duty of care, those same contractors are required to take their own reasonable duty of care. This can get further complicated by contractors who also have their own employees and as such they have a duty of care that extends to them whilst still falling under the hiring company's duty of care. This is why it is important to manage safety around contractors effectively.

So, what can be done in order to make sure that contractors are made aware and follow the relevant safety issues in the same way as your regular employees? There are several factors that will help to ensure that the contractors you choose to hire, comply with the Occupational, Health and Safety requirements of your company. One approach is to ensure that your induction covers all of the information they need to know.

View Checklists, Forms and Examples

Example Checklist Items

Below are some of the areas that are commonly included:
- Emergency procedures
- Emergency exit locations
- Occupational Health and Safety procedures (with an emphasis on the site relevant issues)
- Correct equipment usage once again focusing on equipment that is unique to the site or perhaps not common.

Prior to induction or even hiring however it is vital to make sure that a background check is completed on all potential contractors. This involves:

- Checking previous working history.
- Any recommendations that they may have from their previous contracts.
- If their licenses are actually valid and up to date.

The use of a safety induction checklist is also highly important and needs to be completed to ensure that:

- Everything is covered (leaving no dangerous gaps or loopholes)
- The contractor and their employees are aware of what is required of them
- They are certified to handle the potential dangers of the site

Following on from a Checklist

When considering a contractor coming onto the site and providing them with a safety induction the following should also be taken into account:
- If a contractor is on a tour of the site being escorted by a staff member then they won't need an induction.
- They only need a safety induction if they are working in an area which is a health and safety concern, or they are undertaking construction and maintenance work.

Other factors to consider:
- Make sure that there is a robust system for open communication between employees and contractors in regard to the work they are doing to make sure that they aren't conflicting with other work that needs to be done. Without one a variety of unfortunate issues can arise for example if one area needs water as part of their work and the contractor requires the water to be turned off.
- Ensure you keep up to date on all contractor's licenses and relevant documentation through a reliable system.

Using contractors can be a fantastic way to relieve skill shortages or cover areas that are needed that your company simply cannot or does not cover. However, they can be a liability if they are not properly managed. The details listed above are simply a guide to help you ensure you handle your contractors correctly.

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