Importance of Control of Contractors

Published: 9 Apr 2018

Accidents at work or site are often heard of when talking about H&S and different stories are used to help promote the importance of safety at work. It is not only important to think about your own employees but also think about those who come onto site as you also have responsibility for them.

One of the most recent incidents involves a Preston Egg company and a joinery sub contractor being fined and receiving a suspended prison sentence.

In 2016 an employee of T&J Leigh had been working with a joinery contractor, Harry Jackson to re-roof an old mill building at the egg company when he fell five metres through a gap causing serious head and arm injuries.

The HSE investigated the incident and found the roof work had not been planned and no measures had been put in place to mitigate an accident from occurring.

T & J Leigh (a partnership) of the Farm pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 and was fined a total of £50,000 with costs of £2,855.32. In addition, Harry Jackson also pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 and was given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £2,855.32.

Companies need to ensure that steps are taken to reduce accidents occurring at site. Work should always be properly planned with measures put in place to reduce the risk of an accident and checks must be made before a contractor undertakes work.

Before a short-term contractor enters a site it is important to:

  • Contractor should sign in at reception and where necessary complete a condition of contractor’s form.
  • Complete a permit to work for hot work, working at heights and lift work.
  • Contractors should be pre-approved and demonstrate they are competent to carry out the task, for example: gas safe registered.

Before attending site for major works entering site:

  • Requirements of work clearly laid out by senior management team including; work times, access areas and routes and fire precaution expected and a brief of the site.
  • Submission of safe systems of work by contractor and risk assessments.
  • Submission of insurance cover.
  • References of at least 2 references prior to work.
  • The contractor will be required to sign an indemnification form to assure the safety of their undertaking.