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S06 - Control & Management Of Contractors

This procedure clarifies the general health and safety responsibilities of clients and contractors to protect each other, their workforce and anyone else (eg visitors, people living nearby and other members of the public). These responsibilities, if not properly managed, can lead to events that could prove costly to all parties. All parties must co-operate to ensure that health and safety is properly managed — this will avoid things going wrong in the first place.

The procedure explains a process for pre-vetting, inducting, managing contractors on site and closing the contract.

What is this?

This is a written procedure which covers all aspects of the control and management of contractors. A PDF of the procedure is available to download (see attached), please use it in conjunction with the attached Forms and Checklists.

Who is responsible?

The person responsible for implementing this procedure must ensure that:

  • A competent person is identified to undertake the audits;
  • A decision is made on the type of audit that is required for the workplace;
  • He arranges/organises suitable dates and locations for the audit(s);
  • All site personnel are aware of the forthcoming audit and they are encouraged to be honest;
  • All relevant health and safety documentation is available for the auditor to evaluate;
  • He assists the auditor with any information they require;
  • He does not obstruct or mislead the auditor in any way which may alter the findings of the audit;
  • He acknowledges the findings of the audit and develops an action plan to rectify the issues identified; and
  • Communicates the findings of the audit to senior management and where appropriate the workforce.

Stages in contractor control

In order to effectively manage contractors, it is vital that the subject is broken down into ‘easy to follow’ stages. These stages are as follows:

Stage 1 – The pre-vetting of all contractors
Stage 2 – The delivery of the on-site health and safety induction to all vetted contractors
Stage 3 – The need to manage and monitor the contractor’s work during the project/task
Stage 4 – The importance of ensuring that the contractor’s overall performance is acceptable before closing out the work

Stage 1 – Pre-vetting

Before commencing any work all contractors must be deemed competent. In order to establish this competency, the contractor must complete a questionnaire (with supporting documentation) and return it to the client who will then decide if the contractor will be added to an approved list.

In brief:

  • Identify contractors who could potentially undertake the works;
  • Send the ‘contractor questionnaire’ (with covering letter) to the contractor for completion. Set a realistic date for the questionnaire to be returned;
  • Once returned, review the completed questionnaire and supporting documentation and decide if more information is required;
  • If the information is satisfactory, add the contractor to the approved list; and
  • If the information is unsatisfactory, contact the contractor to determine whether or not he/she can provide the information within a specified time.

Note:  For more information see ‘Contractor questionnaire’.

Stage 2 – Contractor induction

Once the pre-vetting stage has been completed, and the client has identified which contractor is to be used for the works, the following should be considered:

  • The level and duration of the induction. This will depend on whether the contractor is a safety passport holder. By achieving the safety passport certificate the contractor has demonstrated a reasonable level of competence and therefore should not require a full systematic induction;
  • Non-safety passport holders will require a full site induction;
  • On attending the induction, the contractor must provide relevant risk assessments and method statements for the planned work. These risk assessments must be reviewed and understood by all parties prior to the commencement of any work;
  • Any permit to work documentation should be discussed and, if applicable, issued before the contractor starts work, including low risk permits if necessary;
  • Ensure the contractor is aware of any particular hazards (i.e. asbestos, silica) that he/she may come into contact with;
  • It is important that the client explains the level of performance expected by the contractor, and that a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude is taken towards blatant breeches of site rules;
  • Once the induction has been completed, the contractor must sign the induction sheet to confirm he/she acknowledges and understands the requirements set by the client; and
  • The signed induction sheets should then be filed by the client.

Note: For more information see ‘Contractor induction sheet’.

Stage 3 – Management of contractors

During the works, it is important to monitor the progress of the contractor to confirm that he/she is complying with all rules and procedures. The following should be monitored to ensure that the contractor’s actions:

  • Comply with the client’s site rules.
  • Follow the risk assessments that are relevant to the work.
  • Are in line with any permit to work documents that have been issued.
  • Reflect good practice.

Note: If it is identified or suspected that the contractor is not adhering to any of the instructions issued to him/her during the induction stage, then work must stop immediately and the responsible manager must be informed.

For more information see the ‘Contractor monitoring sheet’.

Stage 4 – Closure and sign off

When the contractor has completed his/her activities, the client must be satisfied that the work area has been left in a safe condition. Prior to any plant or equipment being used, the following items should be considered:

  • Has all relevant guarding been put back in place?
  • Have all padlocks been removed from the isolated equipment?
  • Have all tools been removed from the work area?
  • Has the work area been left in a clean and tidy condition with all debris disposed of correctly?
  • Has all relevant documentation been signed off by the authorised person (i.e. permit to work, isolation)?

Note: It is important to review the overall performance of the contractor. Any information that arises from the review (whether positive or negative) should be communicated to relevant personnel.

Legislation

  • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
  • Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999
  • Working at Height Regulations 2005
  • Control of Asbestos Regulations 2002
  • Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • Confined Space Regulations 1997
  • Workplace (Health and Safety Welfare) Regulations 1992
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • The Lifting Equipment and Lifting Operations Equipment 1998
  • The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007

Note: This list is by no means exhaustive but it identifies some of the key pieces of legislation associated with contractors.

Associated documentation

  • Contractor questionnaire H&SCOC01
  • Contractor induction sheet H&SCOC02
  • Contractor low risk permit H&SCOC03
  • Contractor monitoring sheet H&SCOC04

This workplace procedure forms part of a Health & Safety Risk Management System for employers in the quarrying industry. The procedures, which cover a wide range of workplace risks and hazards, can be viewed here

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