All schools will, at some time, engage contractors to carry out work at their sites. Schools have a duty to provide a safe working environment for contractors just as they do for their employees. The Contractor Management guideline has been developed to ensure that contractors work safely when on school sites and do not introduce unmanaged risks to the school environment.
The vast majority of contractors that a school will use will be cleaners or tradespeople such as plumbers, electricians, gardeners and builders. It is important to note that canteen staff, IT staff, music tutors and temporary / emergency staff from an agency are just some of the workers that can be deemed contractors.
Before selecting a contractor for work, the school should ensure that the contractor has:
- appropriate insurance coverage, licenses, permits, registrations and Working with Children Check where required
- any necessary licences, competencies or permits to undertake the work they will be performing, for example:
- plumbers and electricians licences
- councils permits for certain activities
- trained and qualified personnel for the work to be undertaken
- OHS policies and procedures in place in order to identify, assess and control risks
The school should consult with contractor(s) before work commences to ensure compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic).
It is important that good lines of communication and a good induction process between the school and the contractor are established before work commences to ensure that health and safety issues associated with the work are managed.
Process for Contractors arriving at the school
Schools have a responsibility to ensure that contractors coming on site will not pose a risk to the health and safety of its staff, students, volunteers and visitors, as well as other contractors that may be on site. To ensure they meet their legal duties schools should ensure that ALL contractors:
- report to administration building /office
- register in the 'visitors' book (daily)
- be provided with a 'visitor' ID badge (to be worn at all times)
- complete site specific OHS Induction or an OHS refresher on a regular basis
- provide necessary documentation: licences, permits, registrations, insurances, Job Safety Analysis and Working with Children Check, National Police Record Check, etc.
- be shown a site map and evacuation points
- advised to sign-out and return pass when leaving (daily).
It is important that school provide contractors with a Contractor OHS Induction when first coming on-site, and a refresher at regular intervals (if regularly on-site). The induction should include:
- the school layout /map
- parking arrangements
- emergency procedures and emergency assembly areas
- school amenities such as toilets and lunchrooms
- sign in / sign out procedures
- appropriate work areas and prohibited areas within the school
- school hours
- liaison persons, including the child safety contact at the school
- safety hazards at the school
- how to report safety hazards, injuries and incidents
- first aid
- housekeeping and waste disposal
- policies regarding OHS, child safety, conduct/behaviour, discrimination, bullying, smoking, drugs, alcohol, etc.
Process for Contractor Management
- Ensure the contractor has provided documentary evidence of the appropriate insurance coverage, licenses, permits, registrations and Working with Children Check where required
- The contractor should provide the school with a completed Job Safety Analysis (JSA) and/or SafeWork Method Statement (SWMS) for each new task to be undertaken at the school
- Complete the Contractor Safety Management Checklist
- Ensure that all contractors working on site have completed a site specific OHS induction
- Notify school staff, students (and where relevant the school community) of any special arrangements during contractor works and kept informed of changes that may impact on the routine school operations
- Contractors will be required to remove rubbish that has accumulated from the work task unless arrangements are made for disposal using the school’s rubbish disposal system
- the Principal (or nominee) should inspect the work area upon completion of the work to ensure that the site is left free from hazards and presents no risk of injury to any person.