Recently I have been getting a lot of queries about contractors and what we should be supplying them and what they should be supplying us if we contract work to them.
The management of contractors has changed under the new WHS legislation and are now considered as “Workers”. So when reading the Act, regulations or any codes of practice and you see the term “Workers” you need to remember this now includes contractors and subcontractors.
When organisations/businesses engage in using contractors or subcontractors they are still required to provide a work environment without risk to health and safety, maintaining safe systems of work, providing information, instruction, training and supervision to protect them from risks to health and safety in work carried out for your business, plus now they must also consult with them on work health and safety matters.
Under the WHS legislation, contractors are also defined as Persons Conducting Business or Undertaking business (PCBUs) meaning that they have a responsibility of their workers who could be employees, subcontractors or trainees, and in some cases even visitors.
When managing contractors it is important to always:
- Provide a site, workplace and area induction, providing them with information of any risks, site safety standards and emergency procedures.
- Check they hold current qualifications to carry out the work required i.e. tickets, licensing, certification.
- Request copies of the Safe Work Method Statements for the work being carried out.
- Request a current copy of their insurances that are applicable to the work they are doing i.e. worker’s compensation, public liability, etc., prior to allowing them to commence work.
- Include them in toolbox meetings and safety meetings, where possible.