The employer has the same duty of care for contractors as they do for employees. Conversely, the contractor owes a reciprocal duty of care to the organisation, and its employees, to conduct its business in a safe manner.
Consequently the Principal or the Workplace Manager needs to make sure:
- the contractor is able to undertake the work in a competent and safe manner;
- that they are licensed (where required, eg an electrician);
- that they have public liability and workers compensation insurance;
- that safe work procedures are sighted, reviewed and agreed to; and
- prior to working on site that they are inducted (Contractor Induction Checklist).
Where/when would these issues be relevant?
Contractor management is appropriate in all DEECD workplaces including schools and central and regional offices where contractors are engaged. Examples of contractor services that may be required include:
- Sports coaches;
- Plumbing and electrical repairs;
- Roof plumbing;
- Pest control;
- Grounds maintenance; and
- Swimming pool maintenance.
Please note that in the case of Capital Works these contractor management processes will be undertaken centrally.
What do you need to do?
- Refer to DEECD Procedures on process and role accountabilities in the Contractor Management Procedure;
- Ensure that current copies of the contractor insurances and their documented safe systems of work and procedures are requested and kept;
- Ensure that contracted service providers undergo induction as per the OHS Management System (OHSMS) procedures relating to contractor induction and are familiarised with the work environment and any specific hazards they may be potentially exposed to. Evidence of the induction must be recorded and maintained by the workplace;
- Enusre that appropriate specific work permits are issued (e.g. confined space entry or hot work permits); and
- Allocate someone to monitor the compliance of contractors to your OHS standards and expectations.
Legislation, Guidelines and Codes of Practice
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007
Duties of Contractors, May 2005
New Safety Rules for Construction Work
Contractor Management Procedure (PDF - 178Kb)
Contractor Induction Checklist (Word - 422Kb)
Permit to Work - Working at Heights (Word - 96Kb)
Permit to Work - Hot Work (Word - 95Kb)
Confined Space Entry Permit (Word - 117Kb)
Approved Contractor List (Word - 425Kb)
Contractor Hazard Identification and Control Table (Word - 487Kb)
Non-Conformance Report (Word - 428Kb)
OHS Advisory Service on 1300 074 715.
Regional OHS/WorkSafe Advisors
School Policy and Advisory Guide