Two company directors were charged for the death of a contract driver after the driver stopped his truck on an incline and it rolled backwards over a several metre drop-off, leading to the collapse of both the contracting company and the company itself.
Whilst this prosecution occurred under the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, it highlights the power that Work Safe and other regulators have to enforce workplace incidents involving third party contractors. As a rule of thumb, you have the same responsibility for third party contractors as you do for your direct employees for workplaces you control. CONTROL is the operative word here, so contractors must be made aware of the safety process that should be followed and any hazards and risks associated with YOUR workplace.
Tips for establishing good contractor safety management practices:
- Ensure you sight a record of the contractor’s insurance including public liability and WorkCover and that it is current.
- Ensure you sight contractor licenses and qualifications particularly if it is a licensed trade e.g. electrical or plumbing.
- Insist on a Safe Work Method Statement (legally compulsory in the construction industry–template here) and/or a Job Safety Analysis (template here).
- Ensure you induct the contractor prior to work commencing and you keep a record.
If you use a high number of contractors in your business, you need to streamline the process through electronic systems which will save you time and money. Your Safety Partners are experts in contractor safety management and assist a range of national companies across multiple sites with the management of over 20,000 contractors.