Be clear about the work you expect the contractor to do and think about the standards of competence that will be required
Think carefully about contingencies if things don’t go to plan
Demonstrate the importance your organisation places on health and safety in the selection of contractors
Ensure short cuts are not taken to reduce costs and there is no conflict of performance versus safety
Allocate sufficient time and resources to the job - in planning, preparing and carrying out the task
Support management decisions to stop work if there are serious health and safety concerns
Be ready to address health and safety failings by engaging directly with the leader of the contracting organisation, and acknowledge successes
Monitor the contractor’s health and safety performance
Consider how the work will be managed and supervised before the work starts
Obtain the contractor’s health and safety plans
Hold a pre-start meeting to ensure co-ordination and communication - ensure that incorrect assumptions are not made. Will the contractor need a site induction before beginning work on your site?
Include contractor’s activities in all inspections and checks
Hold regular progress meetings and raise health and safety issues as they occur
Carry out a joint risk assessment of the work with the contractor
Remember that some of the risks in your workplace may not be obvious to the contractor
Tell the contractor about any specific risks within your workplace, eg the presence of asbestos
Share method statements or safe systems of work
Tell employees and contractors about the risks, and make sure that the contractors let you know of any additional risks they will be introducing to your site
Have the right procedures in place
Ensure safe systems that are documented are carried out in practice
Make sure everyone is competent to carry out the tasks and that contractors receive induction
Make sure isolation procedures for machinery and plant are clear
If you have an incident
Stop the work if there are serious health and safety concerns
Investigate and address the root cause of any incident, feeding back results of the investigation to everyone involved
Check that everyone understands the risks
Ensure that work does not start until the contractors fully understand the risks and measures to control them
Make sure contractors understand the information, instruction and training you are giving them, taking account of any language difficulties or disabilities. You may need to provide information in a language other than English
Worker consultation and involvement
All workers should have clear lines of communication to report concerns
Communicate and co-ordinate so that employees and contractors know what is expected of them and when, and everyone understands their individual roles
Address training issues through toolbox talks, instruction or coaching
Consider how the competence of the contractor will be verified:
Can they demonstrate previous health and safety performance, eg references/pre-qualification questionnaire?
Can they verify health and safety training?
Can verification of licensing be obtained where required, eg Gas Safe registration?
Will the contractor’s lack of experience within your organisation lead to additional risks? If so, how will this be addressed?