How to Protect the Health and Safety of Contractors

Friday, December 17, 2021

When businesses hire contractors, it’s the responsibility of both parties to maintain safe working practices and adhere to health and safety regulations.

Article 4 Minutes
How to Protect the Health and Safety of Contractors

Everyone has to take precautions to minimize the risk of workplace dangers - both office employees and the contractors you’ve hired. Here are some ways that you can ensure your work premises stay safe, whatever work is being carried out.

Identify the risks

Before you can ensure the safety of your staff, you need to identify the risks in hiring contractors and the job they’re being hired for. First, assess the requirements of the job and if there are any risks involved. If there are any, how will you, as a business, mitigate those risks to keep everyone safe? You will also need to determine if there’s a need for any specialist equipment on-site that could pose a health and safety risk to staff. Contractors should have access to a safe working environment, with no obstructions so they can complete the work without a risk of an accident.

Select a suitable contractor

In order to ensure the work is carried out by someone competent, and that your employees will be safe while the job is being completed, you need to hire a skilled and experienced contractor. Do they have the necessary qualifications and training? What arrangements will they need to carry out the work? Will they be working alone or will they be working with a team of sub-contractors? In light of social distancing guidelines, it’s also important that they understand the importance of keeping their distance from employees when they’re working and will adhere to regulations such as washing their hands regularly, using hand sanitizer and minimizing contact with others.

Coordinate with them

Your contractor is the expert when it comes to the task at hand, but you should still work together to coordinate their activities to make sure that they’re not posing any safety risks to themselves or other staff. One way to achieve this is to schedule regular meetings over the course of the day, to ensure the project is running to schedule and that they have access to everything they need. The level of coordination required will depend on the complexity of the job, how many contractors are working on-site and the risks involved.

Educate third parties

When your contractors arrive on-site, you should communicate with them about what’s required and ensure they’re kept up to date with your company policies. As the employer, it is your ultimate responsibility to safeguard everyone working on your site and alert them to any risks whether they are contracted in, or there on a more permanent contract. You should inform them of the measures in place to mitigate any health and safety risks on their behalf. Let them know which emergency procedures are in place if an accident occurs, such as supervisors they should contact in the event of an emergency and fire evacuation points in the event of a fire so that they know where to meet.

Consult with your team

Before the contractors arrive, it’s a good idea to brief your staff on health and safety policies and to inform them that there will be contractors in the building so that they are aware of the risks. You should involve your workers in the process of having the work completed and consult with them on how the contractor’s will impact their health and safety, and make sure they have the opportunity to raise any concerns they might have. It’s not always possible to discuss the task beforehand, such as in the event of an emergency when a contractor has to be called at the last minute. But, in the event that you can, it’s a good opportunity for everyone to be kept up to date on the latest health and safety procedures.

Complying with health and safety protocols is important in any business, but especially if you’re hiring third parties who aren’t familiar with the processes you have in place. In order to keep both contractors and your employees safe, you need to do your research to find an experienced contractor who understands how to work safely, and make sure that everyone in the company is working to the same guidelines. Failure to comply with basic precautions can lead to accidents and even costly lawsuits, so it’s worth the investment of your time to make sure that the policy you have in place encompasses all risks involved.

Chester Avey

Writer

Chester Avey has over 10 years of experience in cybersecurity and business management. Since retiring he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience through his writing.

 

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