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Thursday, 21 November

Eliminating Potential Harm from Contractors

Energy and FM company, GSH, has sponsored the production of a guidance document specifically aimed at FMs for health and safety in the workplace. The document is now available for download to all British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) members and has been co-written by Robert Greenfield, Group Safety Health Environmental & Quality Director at GSH (pictured) and Michael JW Morgan, MD of Safety Action Services. They are also the Chair and Deputy of Chair of the BIFM Health & Safety Special Interest Group and co authors of the book Simply Safety.

This ‘essential’ guidance for FMs provides a simple step-by-step approach to the management of health and safety of contractors which is not covered by the existing guidance on the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007. However, the principles can also be applied by the FM for the selection and management of any contractor working on site. There is also a visual overview of the steps with a Process Flowchart at Appendix 1 on page 20.

It is timed to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Section 3 of the Act which specifically requires employers to ensure the health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable, of not only their own employees but also that of others on site who are not employees. Robert Greenfield explained: “The trend for outsourcing non core activities within a business to allow it to concentrate on its core activities, makes good business sense but how does the FM ensure that contractors brought in to do the work will not take risks and potentially harm their own staff and others whilst they are present on site? In fact one of the highest risks that an organisation faces is as soon as a contractor walks on to their site and starts work. How do you know they have the experience and knowledge to carry out the work and how do you manage them whilst on site?

 Mr Greenfield went on to state that all too often again as safety practitioners, they had seen preventable accidents that had been caused by poor selection and management of contractors. “We hope that by applying the simple step by step approach demonstrated in this guidance, that the risks faced by FMs and their organisations, will be greatly reduced. In short we want it to prevent accidents and keep people safe in the workplace he concludes.”

 

Pictured: Robert Greenfield, GSH – “How does the FM ensure that contractors brought in to do the work will not take risks and potentially harm their own staff and others whilst they are present on site?”

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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