It’s easy to forget to check contractors staff changes and ensure your risk managing contractors on site is ongoing. Recently I was on site at a care facility when a sub-contractor was working there. When spoken to, he appeared to speak very limited English. He left empty boxes, a Stanley knife in the main hallway and wet glue and loose carpet at the entrance to a resident’s room. No signage, no clean-up. I couldn’t help but ask the provider what the contractor knew about health & safety legislation, his responsibilities and risks to residents as a result of his work practices.
The Health and Safety at Work 2015 increased the responsibility on PCBU’s in relation to risk management in the workplace. When using the services of contractors, there are likely to be overlapping responsibilities. While residents reside in residential care facilities and therefore it’s their home, the legislation defines residential care as a workplace. As such, contractors coming into your environment must provide evidence of following a health and safety policy and processes which reflects current legislation.
A copy of their document should be kept on file along with verification of contractors (and sub-contractors) orientation to site and confirmation of their acknowledgement of health & safety responsibilities. These documents are included in the Safe and Appropriate Environment policy manual for services using HCSL in hardcopy and in-the-cloud online. Documents should be re-signed by contractors annually or when changes to the environment occur or a contractors personnel have changed.