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Have a sub-contractor? Make sure he's aware of hazardous operations and equipment that could cause injury

by , 18 February 2014
If you're a principal contractor, a sub-contractor is your responsibility. You must ensure he respects health and safety laws and protects his workers. So make sure he's aware of hazardous operations and equipment that may cause injury.

Below we list areas or operations that sub-contractors may perform. The problem with these operations is they're dangerous and may harm employees or other people in your premises.

So, if sub-contractors undertake operations of this nature, make sure they give you a written occupational health and safety plan.

It must state how they'll do this work and the nature of the potential dangers connected with that work (Construction Regulation 5(c)). The Health & Safety Advisor says 'this'll allow you to advise other persons who may be affected.'

Make sure your sub-contractors know these hazardous operations and equipment could cause injury

  • Electricity supplies and location of cables
  • Excavation work
  • Machinery
  • Night work
  • Lifting machinery (including lifting gear)
  • Dumpers
  • Working at heights
  • Scaffolding
  • Ladders and ladder work
  • Circular saws and other woodworking machinery
  • Chipping, grinding and similar operations
  • Abrasive tools including operations
  • Electrical tools and lighting appliances
  • Gas bottles (use and storage)
  • Fragile roofs and roof work
  • Asbestos (cutting, handling and storage)
  • Explosive powered tools
  • Work on, over or near water
  • Demolition work
  • Explosives (handling and storage)

Remember that 'any person who contravenes regulations 3 to 28 of the Occupational Safety and Occupational Act (OHSA) is guilty of an offence and is liable upon conviction to a maximum sentence of twelve months' imprisonment,' warns the Advisor .

If your sub-contractors perform the operations mentioned, make sure they implement and maintain the health and safety plan throughout their contracts with you. This will help ensure they're in line with the OHSA.

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