Contractor Compliance - What It Is and Why It's Necessary

Contractor compliance is a series of requirements for proper and safe engagement of contractors in the workplace. This includes compliance with safety practices, industrial law, legal certification, and fundamental insurance issues which can impact severely on risk management if breached. Best practice is to engage a contractor management service to ensure these important areas of compliance are being enforced.

Contractor compliance- The issues

By law, employers and controllers of workplaces are responsible for the safe work practices of their employees and contractors. This very important obligation also exists under common law duty of care.

Employers are obliged by state and Federal law to ensure that any contractors that do work for them are correctly licensed, insured, OH&S compliant and inducted. This covers all contractors in any role or occupation. This is an administrative ordeal for many companies, and it's an expensive process in terms of diversion of resources from actual business functions and cost.

Failure to conduct these checks is in breach of the OH&S Acts and Regulations and if any issues arise with a contractor, the consequences can be grim:

· The employer may face action by WorkCover / Workplace H&S resulting in personal fines (not coverable by insurance) and/or possible prison sentences for breach of the OH&S Act.

· The contractor can make a claim against the company's public liability cover, and the company may be found to be contributory negligent and have to contribute to the claim.

These are potentially deadly situations, and they're always very costly. It's now considered best practice to hire contractor management specialists to ensure these critical tasks are done properly.

Contract management services- What they do and how

Top of the range professional contractor management companies offer 3 distinct services:

1. Verification services on contractors insurances and licenses. This is absolutely essential by law. The verification service takes the load off employer administration in terms of tracking what can be a large range of required licenses and certifications.

2. OH&S accreditation of contractors. Another important legal obligation, and this is a true compliance issue regarding regulations. This service involves examination of the range of required accreditations in a particular contractor service. It can be a messy process, and even minor details like outdated accreditation or lack of accreditation can involve a lot of interaction with contractors. This is best left to experts, and employers are shielded from direct involvement in what is basically a legal issue.

3. Online safety inductions. Safety inductions are extremely useful in many different ways. Inductions can be tailored for employers to cover job-specific practices. There's a further useful function for the employer in that the induction creates clear standards. The best safety inductions also provide Safety Induction Cards, commonly accepted by major industry firms.

The big advantage of contractor management services is that experts are always watching this extremely important area of the workplace. These firms have current information regarding regulatory compliance and best practice in all areas of contracting, and can prevent problems before they start. That alone can save businesses millions of dollars in legal costs, possible damages and fines.

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