Understanding my obligations and responsibilities
A contractor is anyone who is doing work for your organisation, but they are not your employee. You may use contractors to help with
Almost all organisations use contractors at some time. They could be organisations or self-employed individuals.
A contractor may hire other companies to assist with parts of the contract they have with you. These companies or individuals are known as sub-contractors.
Our pages detail a number of actions to ensure that the work carried out by contractors is completed without risk to health and safety.
Contractors coming into your premises or site might not be aware of the hazards present at your workplace. At the same time the contractor’s activities could create risks for your employees or members of the public.
For this reason both of you have health and safety responsibilities and the duty to cooperate and coordinate activities.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 explains that employers have to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of employees, employees of other organisations and members of the public. Those who have control over premises have to consider the safety of anyone who comes on the premises, including contractors and customers.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 places a duty on employers to assess and manage risks to their employees and others arising from work activities. Employees must work safely in accordance with their training and the instructions given to them.
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 apply when you use contractors to carry out any type of construction work for you. These regulations lay out the responsibilities for each of the parties (client, contractor, designers, principal designers, principal contractor, contractors and workers) involved during a construction project.
For more information on the regulations you can visit the Health and Safety Executive website (external website).
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 state you have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that nobody is exposed to hazardous substances, this applies to you toward the contractor’s employees and vice versa.
Visit information on COSHH
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 say that if you are in control of premises you have a duty to report any accident that occurred to a self-employed person while working at your premises which leads to a specified injury to the
contractor or an injury causing a more than from work by them.
You can find a full list of specified injuries on the Health and Safety Executive website (external website)
Message us or call our advice line on 0800 019 2211 if you need further information about working with contractors.
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For information on workplace health, safety and wellbeing, you can speak to one of our specialist advisors.