Using contractors is so commonplace that many businesses will appoint and pay contractors with minimal thought going into the process. It’s also safe to say that the decision to hire a contractor is often based on the price of the quotation, location of the contractor and recommendations from contacts. All of these are acceptable factors to take into account when searching for a new contractor, but as a business, you are also expected to consider the following three areas: their experience, their competence and their management arrangements.
To evidence that you have taken the above into account it is recommended that you obtain the following documentation and keep it somewhere secure:
- A written health & safety policy (if they employ 5 or more people)
- Risk assessments for similar jobs they have undertaken
- Qualifications and training of any staff that will be undertaking the work
And most importantly…
- employers liability and public liability insurance details
The term contractor doesn’t just apply to trades such as your electrician or plumbing company. It means anyone you have an agreement with to conduct work on your behalf or in your premises. This can be your outsourced IT management, archiving company, external fire safety consultants and waste management partners amongst others. It is worth noting that the same concept applies for your subcontractors if you act as a principle contractor on a project.
If a liability claim were to arise, and you weren’t able to provide evidence that you had actively considered the three criteria set out above, then it is possible that you could be found partly or wholly liable for the accident that occurred.
As a ProAktive client you have access to the InterAktive system, which is an online risk management solution. It is the ideal place to store details on your primary contractors or subcontractors as it allows you to easily see information for all the contractors you use. It also allows you to set reminders to collect updated documentation when required, freeing you to focus on your business.
If you would like to get in contact with the InterAktive team to discuss how this system could benefit your business please contact us on 01302 346 825 or email at email@example.com.
By Kris Kerins BSc (Hons) Cert CII, InterAktive & Projects Support