Are lone working sub contractors your responsibility? Read our blog to find out about contractors and your duties, plus what measures you can put in place to help keep them safe.

Are Sub Contractors My Responsibility?

When it comes to health and safety, contractors not only expect to be treated the same as permanent employees when it comes to safety; they must be by law.

image shows a group of men cleaning windows

If you have a sub-contractor working for you, both you and person being employed have duties under health and safety law.

The Health and Safety Executive have these recommendations for those employing contractors:

  • select a suitable subcontractor – ensure they have enough skills and knowledge to do the job safely and without risks to health and safety
  • assess the risks of the work – the level of risk will depend on the nature of the job. Whatever the risk, you will need to consider the health and safety implications
  • do a risk assessment – you and the contractor should be aware of its findings. You should already have a risk assessment for the work activities of your own business. The contractor must assess the risks for the contracted work and then both of you must get together to consider any risks from each other’s work that could affect the health and safety of the workforce or anyone else
  • provide information, instruction and training to your employees. You should also provide any information to contractors on the risks from your activities and the controls you have in place. It may also be beneficial to consider, with the contractor, what instruction and training contractors will need
  • set up liaison arrangements for co-operation and co-ordination with all those responsible to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the workplace
  • decide what you need to do to manage and supervise the work of contractors and agree the nature of the controls before work starts

Contractors may be with you for long periods or employed for a one-off job but no matter the length of the contract, all the above still applies.

Get into good habits and be prepared for prepping sub-contractors with all of the information they will need before they start work.

Lone Working Sub Contractors

One area that many employers struggle with when it comes to contractors is lone working. You may already have a system set up for permanent employees who work alone or not have a system because you don’t have any lone workers in your business.

You may be tempted to think that because someone is only working for you short term that you don’t need to make lone working arrangements. However, it is vital that you provide lone working sub contractors with some sort of lone working system; no matter how long they will be with you.

Some of our customers handle this by having spare, pool lone worker devices. If you already have a lone worker solution in place it is easy to set up additional devices that are not registered to one employee. These can then be used by contractors or even other members of staff who might just have a one-off lone working duty.

image shows a lone working contractor

New lone working sub contractors must be made aware of your lone worker policy and shown how to operate your lone worker devices. When you use a lone worker alarm such as our KIT device, this is fast and easy due to how simple the device is to operate. No lengthy training is required, you can simply brief a contractor, show them how the device works and temporarily assign the device to them.

Get in Touch

If you would like more information about our products or about setting up a lone worker solution for contractors, then please get in touch using our contact page.