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There's no such thing as 'casual labour'...

by , 03 October 2016
There's no such thing as 'casual labour'...If you're like most small businesses I know...

...When it comes to doing the odd bit of maintenance around your workplace...
... Or hanging up your pictures in the office...
...Or washing your windows on the second floor...
...You take a drive to the nearest Builder's Warehouse to pick up a desperate individual or two looking for a job.

Now, it seems rather harmless. You're helping the jobless and getting your small jobs done. And it's casual labour, so they aren't really your responsibility right?


If you don't train your causal labourers before sending them up those ladders, and they fall and get hurt, the DoL can fine YOU!

Let me tell you what happened to one of our readers…


Even if its casual labourers, you must still report an incident

Sam collected four people off the street to clean windows at the office. One person fell from the second floor and died.

Her first question was… must she report this incident?

The answer is a resounding YES!

The casual labourer (your window cleaner) is your employee for the time he works for you, even if it's only for a few hours.

This means he is even entitled to the benefits provided by the COIDA if he's injured on duty.

Keep reading to find out exactly what your responsibilities are when using casual labourers.

Casual labourers are your responsibility

There's nothing 'casual' about casual labourers. The truth is you have to treat them the same as if they were your employees.
When using casual labour, you need to train them on the hazards of the job. And give them the right tools, equipment and personal protective equipment to enable safe work (OHSA Section 13; Duty to inform).

Remember, casual labour includes volunteers as you're deriving benefit from their efforts, even if you're not paying them!

For all your responsibilities about handling casual labourers and contractors, get your hands on the Health and Safety Advisor now! We'll tell you all your legal responsibilities when dealing with contractors, including agreement samples and the six ways to manage them!

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