When engaging a contractor, what are our obligations? I understand we need to check competency and insurances, and provide an induction to the worksite. Do we need to ask for risk assessments for every job they undertake for us or is that only relevant for high-risk activities? We operate in the retail industry.
Persons conducting a business or undertaking owe a statutory obligation to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure the safety of contractors at the workplace and to ensure that they do not pose a risk to others.
So, you do need a risk assessment or safe work method statement from a contractor for any high-risk work they will be undertaking.
Whether you need to ask for a risk assessment from a contractor for lower-risk work will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- the skills and expertise of the contractor;
- the nature and timing for when the work is being performed;
- potential for interaction with others; and
- the overall duration of the contractor’s services.
For further information on managing the safety of contractors, we recommend reviewing the chapter Contractors of the Health & Safety Handbook.