News / Look for These Qualifications Before Your Contractor Starts Working on Your Site

Look for These Qualifications Before Your Contractor Starts Working on Your Site

Look for These Qualifications Before Your Contractor Starts Working on Your Site

Ensuring you hire the right contractor is crucial. Working with contractors who don’t make the effort to comply with safety procedures and relevant codes of practice is risky, and can put you in the firing line in terms of legal, financial, and human consequences if something goes wrong. Working with a reliable contractor is even more vital in inherently risky areas such as work at height.

Carefully investigating potential contractors before work commences may seem like extra work, but this due diligence can only benefit you in the future. Making sure your contractor has all hiring and work at height permit requirements will establish that you are working with someone who knows what they’re doing.

In this article, we take a look at the relevant qualifications and green flags you should be looking for when recruiting contractors to ensure you are fully compliant. Requiring these qualifications will minimise risk to both employees and your business should something go wrong.

 

Contractor Qualifications You Need to Look For

Prior to hiring, contractors must be able to provide the following:

 

1. Proof they are a registered contractor in your country

Any contractor you hire should preferably be a member of the Singapore Contractors Association or a similar reputable organisation. This ensures that they answer to a credible ruling body that, by association, vouches for the contractor’s capability and integrity.

2. Credible, relevant insurance

Always check if the contractor has relevant insurance. This is invaluable for making sure that any accidents that may happen in the course of their contract are covered. Insurance protects them, but it also protects you should something go awry. An uninsured contractor could land you in hot water so consider this a priority.

3. Worker credentials

Make sure that the contractor’s workers are professionally trained, have permits to work, and have finished all necessary training courses such as the Construction Safety Orientation Course (CSOC) and Work-at-Height Course for Workers (WAC-W). These certifications show that the workers who will be on your site have solid construction safety knowledge. A qualified contractor should be well-versed in common work at height hazards list and code of practice and they need to be able to prove it.

4. Safety accreditations

Ask for the contractor’s accreditations to ensure workers are compliant to all specific safety and work at height permit requirements for the task being undertaken. Depending on the demands and nature of specific contracts, they might need bizSAFE certificates, BCA certificates, or another industry standard. Consider creating a list of certificates that correspond to the exact demands of your project.

 

Once you have selected your contractor, you must check whether they have all of the following before work starts:

Legally, the contractor must provide suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) for their workers. Take a look at this guide for other site-specific fall protection plan requirements, and make sure each worker is provided with adequate PPE when on your site.

 

1. PPE

Legally, the contractor must provide suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) for their workers. Take a look at this guide for other site-specific fall protection plan requirements, and make sure each worker is provided with adequate PPE when on your site.

2. Work at height permit

Ensure the contractor has a work at height permit as well as a detailed and organized work plan. These documents guarantee a certain measure of safety, backed by a governing body.

3. Fall safety compliance

Make sure that the contractor has ensured all fall risks from fragile and dangerous surfaces have been controlled. It might be useful to prepare a checklist that managers can refer to during routine inspections.

4. Safety infrastructure

It is your responsibility to communicate with the building owner and check if all the necessary safety systems, as prescribed by local safety regulations, are in place. Work should not continue without these systems in place, as vital safety infrastructure will be missing, potentially leading to a serious incident.

 

Tips on How to Ensure Safe On-Site Work With Your Contractor

 

1. Cleared audits

Establish full transparency in all recent safety audits and risk assessment reports between your office and the contractor. This ensures that you are both on the same page, and that there are two sets of eyes to spot any gaps in the safety planning. Additionally, this will create an air of mutual trust that will help ensure possible safety concerns will be brought to light quickly in the future.

2. Safety planning phase

Have a sit-down meeting to discuss every detail, including the needs of the project at all stages. Take the time to go over all planning with the contractor, as being on the same page ensures that you are able to pivot as necessary with no resistance from the opposite party. With all planning on the table, the project will be able to progress more smoothly.

3. Risk assessment team

Form a risk assessment team to identify all potential hazards and control measures. Hand-pick your most observant people to sift through the details with a fine tooth comb. There are always gaps in plans of any scale, and the more eyes you have looking for them, the less likely you are to miss something that could lead to a costly accident.

4. Company representative

A qualified person within your company must be present during the actual work. They will not only serve to make sure the job is being done properly, but can also act as witnesses to confirm any details in the event of an incident.

 

Remember that safety regulations, codes of practice, and the legal consequences for not following them are all designed to protect the lives and safety of everyone working on your behalf. By making the effort to ensure everyone on your site follows them to the letter, you are making sure that your project remains free from potentially life-changing, reputation-destroying accidents.

At Kee Safety, our expert safety professionals can help you better understand hazards on your site, both on the ground and at height, with a free site survey, and offer custom recommendations essential to creating a site-specific fall protection plan.

Kee Safety is a globally-recognized supplier of work at height safety equipment, comprehensively tested, and guaranteed to minimise risks when working at height. Even when a contractor is not around or work is currently not ongoing, you can be safe in the knowledge that your site is safe at all times.

For more information, call us on +65 6385 4166 or use our online contact form.