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Safely managing contractors and labour hire*

Councils, as employers and as Person’s Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs), are ultimately responsible for the safety of staff, contractors, sub-contractors and labour hire employees under current safety legislation.

The Work Health and Safety Act defines these labour categories as ‘workers’ and incorporates a requirement to consult, cooperate and coordinate with them. The previous health and safety legislation also mandated that councils had a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for employees and contractors alike.

In the context of local government, it is also important to recognise that contractors are not only often the people who seal roads and provide plant and machinery, but also often include others, such as lessees of the local pool, recycling contractors, caterers and even office cleaners.

Given these complexities, contracts need to detail what is required from both parties, including:
•    precise deliverables
•    process specifications (if applicable)
•    W H S responsibilities
•    WHS reporting requirements
•    monitoring/assurance processes
•    processes for dealing with non-compliance.

In recent years, councils have also more frequently found themselves working in the role of contractor, such as with Main Roads Departments or in undertaking works for major resource companies, and therefore have a need to understand and adequately define their own safety roles and responsibilities.

The development of effective contractor management processes is critical to achieving these ends. QRMC can assist councils to comply with legislative requirements and manage contractors, sub-contractors and labour hire employees safely.

Website: www.qrmc.com.au
*Copy supplied by QRMC