Health and safety law across all the countries gives employers and work site owners duties and responsibilities for Contractor Safety Management for their own hired employees as well as for the employees of contractors.



Principal Contractor

A person who is appointed to manage, coordinate and/or implement the work or service involved in the contract and/or other contractors and subcontractor.



 All external services or staff carrying out work for an organization within its premises which might comprise but is not limited to:

 External experts and Interim workers, 

Support staff/ permanently working staff,

 Interns and Project associates, 

 Cleaning service provider and Permanent contracted maintenance workers,

 External technical staff visiting for periodical checks on systems,

Services; working on assembling of installations or maintenance of equipment, 

Providers of regular maintenance according to legal rules and regulations.



Contractors, having no direct contract with an organization, but in connection with another contractor on site. 


Short Term Contractor 

Contractors carry out a specific task in a short period of time (completed in a period hours or a day).


Long Term Contractor 

Contractors those are engaged on a full time or regular part time basis to carry out tasks which are integrated with the business, (completed in a period of greater than one day).


 All external service providers / staff being present on site on a short term for a specific purpose. This presence shall be limited to less than two weeks.

Who Is Responsible For Contractor Safety: Company Employees Or Contractor?

Study and surveys at various working sites conclude that it is responsibility of both to create safe workplace environment with mutual understanding!

Responsibilities Of Company Employees Are:

  • Avoid to place themselves or contractors at risk of injury.
  • To assist contractors in developing, implementing and practicing around safe work environment.
  • To report non adhering working procedures followed by contractors to Company management.

Responsibilities Of Contractors Are:

  • To work in accordance ‘company OHS standards, procedures and practices’.

  • To ensure safety for themselves and others to avoid any injury or fatality and damage to assets.
  • To design site specific procedures relevant to work activities and risks at the site.
  • To report about any non-compliances, incidents or injuries to management.

Contractor Safety Management Program

Many organization hire contractors to perform a variety of services. Contracted services can vary from organisation to organization and site to site activity. It’s an accountability of an organization that engaged in the use of contractor must establish a comprehensive Contractor Safety Management Program. 

A Contractor Safety Management Program must be framed to design a process that will reduce the risks associated with the utilization of contractors. The process provides consistent guidance for maintaining contractor safety, and protects contractor personnel

from workplace injury and occupational illness, and from losses associated with hazards related to the contracted work.

A written contractor safety program must start by clearly understanding the legal concepts applicable to contracting, and the concepts that have set in health and safety decision making by legal authorities. A contractor safety program must be clearly recognized and, be utilized when contracting with a contractor.

The Contractor Management System consists of the following associated tools (documents).

  1. Contractor OHS Induction Checklist
  2. Contractor Induction Register
  3. Contractor’s Agreement – (Long Term)
  4. Contractor’s Permit To Work – (Short Term)
  5. Contractor’s OHS Performance Report

Company’s Contractor Safety Management System: Aim To Achieve

  • Provide a risk free and healthy workplace and systems of work that reduce hazards of illness and injury for employees as well as contractors
  • To provide a practical, uniform and apt system for Company staff managing and supervising the work of contractors, their sub-contractors and/or visitor contractors.
  • To consolidate OHS requirements into contractor Safety management.
  • Accomplishment Company’s legal procedures to contactors


Overcoming The Challenges Of Contractor Safety

Hiring a new team for a project is more expensive than hiring a contractor, but it has its own drawbacks.

Similar to other staff your contractor is also your consequential asset. Their Safety can also affect the well-being of your working people and every phase of the project. If your contractor safety fails, a single accident could seriously harm and permanently damage your esteem.

Hence the stress should be given on:

  • Stimulating the safety culture in the organization

Like the regular employees Contractors haven’t had enough time to become an element of company’s safety culture. And getting new additional up to date isn’t an instant process for outlanders. That’s why it’s very crucial to promote your construction program’s safety policies to new contractors. 

  • Creating intimacy with crew members

Contractors haven’t had the benefit of building working relationships in the way regular employees having with each other. Bringing someone new into the team, contractor or temporary employee alike might give a feeling of discomfort to the team members.

  • Tracing compliance of contractors

 It is necessary to train your contractor on safe functioning, whether it’s hands-on training or a formal guideline. You must have solid reporting system in place otherwise you may never be aware of any safety issues a contractor is facing.


Effective Action to Overcome Challenges 

A few minutes communication a day will certainly help in establishing an effective Contractor Safety Management Program.

To overcome these and other challenges depends on how well you communicate.

Arrange regular safety meetings to discuss issues.

Clearly mention your expectations on how to handle and report risk and hazards. 

Speak to each contractor and get them involved with the team in promoting a safe work environment



Both the contractor, company and their employees are responsible for maintaining healthy and safe workplace environment. 

When a company hires contractors it should: ensure that contractors have the right skills and training so they are not posing a risk to their (or anyone in the workplaces) health and safety.

When a contractor signs a contract for a company he/she should: develop rapport with company employees to accomplish the project without any causality or harm to property.


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