The management of contractors within manufacturing premises is something that can be easily overlooked. Whilst contractors will normally report to reception on their arrival, they are often left unsupervised, poor safety practices can then put your contractors, your own staff and visitors at risk of injury.

Whilst you expect contractors to be competent, it is not enough to just assume they are going to be working safely. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires you to ensure the safety of your employees and other people who may visit your workplace, this includes contractors. 

ISO45001 has introduced specific requirements for the management of contractors, if you are accredited under ISO45001 or thinking of applying for accreditation you will need to ensure you have effective contractor management systems in place.

At Southalls, we have provided clients with access to our contractor management and permit to work modules, these modules allow you to nominate your approved contractors, schedule reviews of contractor health and safety documentation and record training records for contractors e.g. Gas Safe Register cards for contractors servicing your gas systems or PASMA training for contractors using mobile elevated work platforms. The permit to work module allows you to upload your permit to work forms so you can keep track of which contractors have been working on your site.

We have devised this quick checklist to help you ensure you are managing your contractors correctly on site: 

  1. Ensure contractors are competent, check their risk assessments and health and safety policy before they start work and upload these to Safety Cloud. Challenge contractors who provide poor documentation, if you are unsure on the contents of the risk assessments ask your Southalls consultant. 
  2. Some contractors may be undertaking work which has implications under the Construction , Design and Management Regulations 2007, if you are unsure ask your Southalls consultant.
  3. Check your contractors have adequate public liability insurance and ensure you ask for a copy of their insurance and upload this to Safety Cloud before they start work.
  4. Assess what work contract the contractor will be doing and if required issue a permit to work, remember whilst the contractors maybe using dangerous equipment, your own activities and equipment can pose a hazard to your contractors and must be considered.
  5. Ensure contractors are inducted at your site, this could be a simple walkthrough of site operations pointing out high-risk areas. Ensure you provide a safe place for your contractors to work and they are aware of emergency procedures.
  6. Don’t forget to mention asbestos, if you have asbestos on site brief your contractors and ensure this is recorded in your asbestos management plan. 
  7. Inform your own staff contractors are working on site, if areas are being removed from use so contractors can work safely, use barriers and signage to remind staff, consider using a toolbox talk if this is appropriate.
  8. Nominate someone responsible for supervising your contractors, this includes checking they are happy with the arrangements you have provided but also ensuring they are following their own risk assessments. If contractors are working unsafely, stop the work immediately, contact your Southalls consultant if you have any concerns.
  9. For long-duration construction projects consider using a flexi audit, speak to your consultant as we would be happy to provide a checklist on Safety Cloud for you.