Control of Contractors: Have you implemented contractor management and control?


Is there evidence for the control of contractors e.g. signing in book and check for evidence that work permits are being utilized and procedures implemented correctly (e.g. Hot works)? 2 random samples taken and checked to see if contractors follow through on permits.

Reason for This Question

Contractors must sign in and out and there must be a contractors work permit in place and in operation, and there should also be evidence to suggest risk assessments are being carried out for certain tasks (e.g. hot works).

Possible Answers

Red: Signing in/out by contractors incomplete, and/or no evidence of work permits being used
Amber: Signing in/out by contractors may be complete, but little or no evidence of work permits being used
Green: Signing in/out by contractors complete up to date, and evidence of work permits being used

Common Issues

  • No systems are in place to ensure contractors have been inducted or are managed whilst on site.
  • No process is place for the appointment or control of competent contractors.

Fail Rate

37.5% of businesses failed this question based on our sample data.

How to Stay Compliant

A contractor sign-in and sign-out procedure must in place for contractors.

Induction information must be prepared for contractors (including what the building risks are, what the risks are from activities carried out on site, what to do in the event of spills, accidents, fire etc.). Have this information available, alongside a signing in/out book for contractors, make contractors aware of the information and obtain a signature to show they have read and understood the information.

Additional Information

Contractors or visitors to your premises have a duty to ensure their own health and safety whilst they
are on our premises and for making sure they do not do anything to increase the risk or cause harm to

However, you also have a responsibility to ensure that any contractors or visitors allowed into our
premises are authorised to be on the premises, qualified, competent, and that while they are in the
building – supervised!

What is a contractor?

A “contractor” is any individual or company employed to carry out specific tasks

Examples of contract workers could be:

  • Window cleaners
  • Electricians
  • Cleaners
  • Maintenance
  • Builders

Key Points for Controlling Contractors

  • The responsible person within your organisation (which should be defined in your health and safety manual) must be able to show that contractors have been assessed in some way and there is evidence that they can do the job / task safely and are suitably qualified contractors must supply any additional paper work requested by the responsible person e.g./ risk assessments, safe systems of work, method statements or permits to work;
  • Where a contractor is required to work in a confined space a suitable and sufficient risk assessment must be supplied by the contractor and must include an emergency plan;
  • For all new contractors, and all new jobs, safety procedures must be agreed between the responsible person and the contractor;
  • Contractors must be informed of any hazards on the premises that might affect them, and any controls that they should follow by the location manager;
  • Contractors must be considered in emergency procedures, e.g. fire evacuation. Contractors must be informed of these procedures;
  • Controls must be in place before work starts, for any new hazards that are introduced as a part of contract job;
  • Contractors must not be allowed to use any of our own equipment or machinery whatsoever;
  • Contractors must be supervised by the location management at a level that is consistent with the level of risk created by the work being carried out;
  • Where a contractor needs to carry out works in a public area / place there must be sufficient segregation from the contractor and the public.

Relevant Legislation

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
International standard for health and safety excellence ISO 45001
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
HSE Use of Contractors INDG368

Our Solutions

Health and safety manuals are available as part of our Health and Safety Management System packages. The contractors section in our health and safety manual will define contractor control responsibilities within your business, contractor procedures, permits to works and sign-in forms.

This post is part of the “Focus on Health and Safety Audit Questions” series. A series which focuses on questions asked by our health and safety consultants when conducting a health and safety audit.