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Almost every organisation will use a contactor at some point in time and health and safety legislation is in place to protect people from being injured within the workplace. This is both the responsibility of the contractor and the organisation to adhere to safe working practices.
Here is a list that you as a contractor are responsible for:
1) Do I need to provide a risk assessment?Yes, it is your responsibility as part of the health and safety of your business to control the risks in your workplace. If you have fewer than 5 employees, you do not need to write anything down.
2) Do I need to provide a Health and Safety Policy Statement?Yes, if you employ 5 or more people you will need to complete a health and safety policy document. Ensure that you sign and date it!This comprises of: • policy statement (the company’s commitment to health and safety),• organisation (the responsibility of individuals for health and safety from the most senior director down to members of staff)• arrangements/procedures (how a company will act to meet its legal obligations on a number of topics e.g. undertaking risk assessments, managing lone working staff, dealing with asbestos).
3) Do I need Public Liability Insurance?Yes, in the case that someone claims that you have caused negligence. Public Liability Insurance covers damage and injury to third parties. It will cover the defence costs and damages if someone brings a claim against you.
4) Do I need Employers Liability Insurance?Yes, if you have employees, then you will need the insurance. It covers in circumstances where an employee seeks to bring a claim against you for personal injury or accidental death sustained as a result of their employment with you.
5) Do I need to be part of Trade or professional body membership?You do not necessarily need to belong to these, however being a trade member will boost your credibility and reputation, also showing that you adhere to specific standards and protocols.
6) Do I need to provide Permits to work?This will depend on the type and nature of the work involved. You could request permits for work including electricity, working at heights, using lifting equipment, confined spaces and any other irregular workspace.
7) Do I need to provide PPE?Yes, if you are a Limited company it is your responsibility to provide Personal Protective Equipment for your employees free of charge. This should also be highlighted in your risk assessments.