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Are there legal requirements for short term sub-contractors as long term contractors?

by , 01 July 2013
Do you have contractors working at your offices or plant? Are they fulfilling their health and safety obligations?

You're responsible for making sure your contractors and their employees working on the business premises carry out all their tasks in compliance with health and safety legislation.

We get scores of questions every month about contractor's. Like the one below from Ben, a Health and Safety Advisor subscriber.

Let's take a look...

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Do you have all 29 essential health and safety inspection checklists?
 
Your inspection checklist is your first step towards full compliance. Without it, your health and safety policy won't be legally compliant.
 
You have your health and safety policy drawn up, but how often do you check that your employees comply? The easiest way is to have a set of inspection checklists you can use each time you need to check that your safety measures meet the requirements of your risk assessment.
 
Find out more here
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Are the legal requirements for short term sub-contractors as long term contractors?
 
Ben has sub-contractors who sometimes work for half day, doing trenching / tree felling – with under 10 workers.
 
Are the requirements for sub-contractors who work for us for short periods the same as for those who work longer periods with regard to the following:
  • Should we request a safety file from them
  • Should we request a mandatory agreement to be signed.
  • Should we request medicals
  • Should we request letter of good standing.
  • Must they have a Safety Rep
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Attention! You could be risking 1-2 years in prison for health and safety non-compliance!

If the Department of Labour (DoL) Inspectors had to show up at your door today, can you be 100% certain your SHE file is in order and up-to-date with all relevant documents?

To make it easier for you we have 106 electronic templates to start your Health and Safety System from scratch.

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Here's the answer from our Health and Safety Helpdesk Expert
 
Here's Nell Browns advice for Ben:
  1. Should we request a safety file? Yes. Request for a safety file and at the very least they must have Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment document.
  2. Should we request a mandatory agreement to be signed?  Yes
  3. Should we request medicals? The contractor needs to have proof that his employees are certified fit to work at heights if they are required to climb.
  4. Should we request letter of good standing? Absolutely!
  5. Should the contractor have a Health and Safety Rep? Legally they do not have to have a Safety Rep if they have less than 10 workers in their company. However someone on site should have an understanding of the OHSA requirements and be able to do HIRA.
Find out more about contractors and subcontractors when you subscribe to the Health and Safety Advisor.
 
Until next time,
 
Stay safe.

RP
 
Rachel Paterson
Business Publisher
 
P.S. You can also get your questions answered and answer other people's questions - all you have to do is register on the Health and Safety Club, ts FREE

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