Contractors, what are your obligations?

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Working with subcontractors is part of business whether you are getting an electrician to fix a light in the office or you have a crew of 20 subcontractors working on a job. You might be of the belief that they need to look after themselves, they get paid more to deal with all the other crap so you don’t have to? You are correct in some respects, you don’t have to pay wages or PAYG or holidays or sick leave and you can terminate the work whenever you like, but it’s not all plain sailing. Part of your WHS Duty of Care covers not just your workers but other parties that conduct work on your behalf or on your premises. So how do you make sure you are doing what you need to?

What are the basic Subcontractor requirements?

Make sure you collect the following information from all of your subcontractors. This applies equally to the electrician fixing a light in the office to the crew of 20 subcontractors on your work site:

  • Insurance certificate – Public Liability and Workcover if they have employee’s.
  • Qualifications
  • Licenses, tickets
  • Safe Work Method Statement or a Job Safety Analysis or Take 5, some sort of risk assessment.

Why do you need this information? If they are working on your premises or your work site then legally they are your responsibility when it comes to their safety.

Treat Subcontractors as your own

Although they are subcontractors and they don’t work for your business you need to think as though they do for WHS purposes. Make sure you have insurance details, make sure they are inducted (if working under your business), check their qualifications make sure they are at safety meetings if onsite.

You wouldn’t let a stranger walk in off the street and start working on the office electrical system would you? Or onto your worksite to start fitting off your plumbing? It only takes 5 minutes to get things done right and it might save you a great deal of time and money if something does go wrong.

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