Managing Contractors

From subcontracting out your catering services to using contractors to carry out necessary repairs or construction work, it is inevitable that you will encounter contractors as an educational leader.

Managing Health & Safety in schools is already a huge responsibility and contractors make that task even more challenging. Employees and pupils are posed at an increased risk when contractors are on site, often due to them not being aware of how their work will affect the day to day running of the school.

As a Citation customer, you will benefit from:

  • Tailored advice from Citation’s team of expert advisors through their advice line that runs 365 days a year, 24 hours a day
  • Unlimited access to Atlas, Citation’s intuitive safety management platform, allowing you to easily manage all the necessary documentation that you need to demonstrate compliance
  • Daily and weekly reminders on repeat about outstanding tasks that need completing
  • Access to a wealth of useful guides and resources, including more than 100 school-specific risk assessment templates
  • Our easy-to-use DBS portal, allowing you to process contactors’ DBS applications easily

Why do contractors need to be managed?

Contractors need to be managed as you need to consider how their work interacts with your school’s activities and how the work of different contractors might interact with each other.

Many accidents often involve contractors working on a site. You need to ensure that there is good communication across your school: employees need to know if a contractor is working nearby, and equally, contractors need to be aware of the dangers of working in the site.

Managing contractors might seem expensive, but the cost of getting it wrong is even greater. The potential risk is not just financial but, at worst, could put lives at risk.

Employing the most competent body to complete your contract work means that they come with all the relevant qualifications, experience, plan and, most importantly, insurances should the worse happen.

Do contractors require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check?

DBS offers three levels of criminal record check: standard, enhanced and enhanced with a check of the children’s barred list, the adults barred list or both.

It is likely that most contractors will require an enhanced DBS check with or without the barred list.

An enhanced check with a check of the barred list should be done if contractors will be engaging in ‘regulated activity’, essentially meaning that the work is:

  • Unsupervised;
  • Done specifically on the school’s site;
  • Done for the purpose of the school;
  • Provides an opportunity to have contact with children.

We know how important the safety of pupils is to educational leaders and Citation can provide you with all the advice and guidance that you need with DBS queries.

What steps can be taken to ensure safe working?

The first step that should always be taken is careful planning. You should clearly define the work that you wish to outsource to contractors, immediately identifying any possible hazards.

A thorough risk assessment should be conducted to assess potential hazards, including an action plan stating how you can eliminate, reduce or control those identified risks.

Choosing the right contractor is also important. You should consider what safety and technical competence is needed, go through the information that you have about the job and the site, and ask for a safety method statement. Based on the above, you should then reflect on whether the proposed subcontracting is acceptable and how Health & Safety will be ensured if so.

Once the work has begun, it is important that contractors sign in and out as standard practice. A site contact should be named, and you should carefully reinforce Health & Safety information and rules to the contractors. It might be necessary to do more planning if different needs emerge at this stage or if the job changes.

You should monitor the subcontracted work once it has begun, assessing the degree of contact needed, and whether the contractor is working safely as agreed, also considering how contracted work is left when unmanned.

After the work has been completed, a review should be done, considering how effective your planning was, how the job went and what lessons you can record for the future.

Want to find out more?