Planning the work(s)
Information must be exchanged between the duty holders (client) and the contractor.
The client has a duty to tell the contractor about the hazards and risks already in the workplace, and the contractor should make the client aware of the hazards and risks which may be created during the works. This exchange of information will ensure that the work can be suitably planned to incorporate all the identified hazards and risks by both parties to ensure that everyone is kept safe.
The contractor must carry out their own risk assessments on the work involved and develop safe working methods to control identified risks. This must be documented and is often referred to as the Method Statement.
The duty holder (client) should examine the risk assessments and method statements before the work begins, to ensure that there are no obvious errors or the creation of unacceptable hazards or risks to their own employees or other workplace activities which may be impacted. This also allows for any identified problems to be reviewed and necessary alterations made, so there is no impact to the work schedule after the works have already started.
The client should also discuss the welfare facilities for contractor staff. Sufficient toilet and hygiene facilities, somewhere for the staff to rest and eat, and fresh drinking water should be made available as a minimum. If the current welfare facilities on the existing site are not sufficient to serve all the current workers and contractors, then portable facilities should be added temporarily for the additional workforce. Concise requirements and guidance on welfare provision under the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 can be accessed on the HSE website.
The client and the contractor must agree and co-ordinate their work carefully as there may be several contractors and staff working on the site at the same time, creating new hazards to the combined workforce. The activities of contractor(s) must not cause a hazard for others in the shared area. For example, if contractor(s) are working at height it would be sensible to ensure no one was working beneath them in that area.