Managing contractors on site - Healthy Working Lives

Contractors

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

  • business activities
  • maintenance
  • cleaning
  • catering
  • day to day tasks.

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.

Managing 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.

  1. Planning for contractor work
  2. Managing contractors on site
  3. Contractor legislation

2. Managing contractors on site

You need to control who enters your premises, for example by asking contractors to sign in on their arrival. You need to ensure that contractors are aware of

  • site safety rules
  • any hazards and risks
  • emergency procedures
  • first aid facilities
  • alarm procedures
  • a site contact.

You may require a permit to work for certain tasks. These include working with electricity, hot work and confined spaces and so on. In this case you will need to make the contractor aware of the process. For more information about a work permit you can visit our page.

Visit information on a permit to work

Monitor the contractors' performance

  • they are doing a good job as planned
  • following procedures as specified on their risk assessments and/or method statement.

The amount of monitoring will depend on the level of risk. Higher risk will require closer monitoring. It’s important to ensure that the contractor stays in touch with you and reports any incidents, accidents or near misses to you to be recorded accordingly.

Review the work

  • that the job was completed as planned
  • if there were any incidents
  • whether they followed safety rules and procedures.

It’s important that you feedback to the contractor and you encourage them to do the same about your organisation. After this you need to decide if the contractor will stay in your approved list of contractors.

You also need to check if your procedures worked. For example if you planned the work well or if the selection process was effective. You should learn from the experience and review your procedures to amend them accordingly.

Contact information

Message us or call our advice line on 0800 019 2211 if you need further information about working with contractors.