As a subcontractor to the arboriculture industry, our company takes health and safety very seriously. We respect the safety of all our employees, clients and principals. We also endeavour to keep that safety front of mind regardless of the nature or size of any job.
What are the things that anyone who is ‘contracting’ their services need to consider before embarking on a job with a principal? It’s something I have been considering this month in some depth.
I’ve written this blog with you in mind as I think its important we all understand the implications and priorities of being safety-minded.
Safety on the job
First I think its important to consider, as subcontractors, what obligations we have to principals regarding health and safety on a job site but also what obligations we have to ourselves and our teams.
What do we need to be aware of AND even more importantly what do we need to name and share with a principal if it becomes apparent to us on a job?
- Hazards caused by the work we are doing
- Site-specific hazards
- New workers (especially new to the site who haven’t been initiated) as well as the number of workers
- New equipment or concerns with older equipment
- Management of work around live power lines
- Working at height and anything that is a concern
Hazard management and identification
As much as it is important that we notice and name hazards we also need to understand how those hazards will be controlled. And, with that in mind, we need to be comfortable to raise concerns or ask questions about certain things. The below is a comprehensive (but not conclusive) list of aspects of a job its critical we are across as subcontractors.
- Safety procedures and processes
- Emergency procedures and the supply of first aid
- How to report hazards or incidents when required
- How hazards will be managed and the plan to reduce those hazards as much as is possible
- A health and safety policy
- An alcohol or drug testing policy
- Safety meetings or briefings
- Management of the public where relevant
Health and safety for subcontractors
As subcontractors to the arboricultural industry we pride ourselves on keeping our own staff safe and we want to be able to ensure that, in working with us, we also keep yours safe. We want to together to collaborate effectively around health and safety concerns.
You can be assured that we ask the self-same questions of our own teams on our other job sites and that this practice is an intuitive and critical part of our business practice.
This site has some excellent references and guidelines should you be in need for further detail: https://worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/forestry/health-and-safety-in-the-arboriculture-industry/
We look forward to working together, safely.