Hiring Contractors & Consultants
Hiring a Contractor to Work on Your Farm?
Hiring a contractor to work on your farm can be risky business if the farm doesn’t evaluate the contractor before starting work. There are questions a farm should ask and have the answers to before allowing the contractor to work on the farm.
What is the risk?
If a contractor is not evaluated for their health and safety performance, it can result in serious injury or death. Their work may be excellent, but their actions may be cause for safety concern. They can put everyone around them in danger. Working with a contractor means sharing a commitment to health and safety on the farm. All workers including contractors on the farm should follow the same safety rules. Even the very best contractors can cause an incident or injury if they are unfamiliar with the potential hazards on the farm.
We have developed a Contractor Questionnaire with a list of questions to ask the contractor before starting work to include, liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, and elements of a health and safety plan.
We have also developed a Contractor Management Plan to outline the expectations of the contractor when they work on the farm. Laying out the health and safety expectations eliminates confusion and the potential for unsafe acts and conditions while the contractor performs work.
The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act Section 14 Precautions to be taken by Contractors and Section 18 Self-Employed Persons’ Precautions and Duties includes the responsibilities in regards to their own health and safety but also the safety of others working on the farm.
The farm owner also has a duty to ensure the health and safety of all persons at or near the farm. To do that, it would be reasonable to evaluate all persons working on the farm to include the contractors.
Start the evaluation process today using the Contractor Questionnaire.
Hiring a Health and Safety Consultant!
If you are interested in starting the process in building a Farm Safety Plan or having your current Farm Safety Plan reviewed, and would like the help of a third-party consultant, here are some hints and tips on hiring a consultant.
The most important thing when considering hiring a consultant is making sure you are comfortable with the person you a working with. Regardless of the type of consulting they are doing it is important the consultant is a good fit for you and your operation. You need to feel respected by the consultant and feel comfortable asking questions.
At the end of the day, you are ultimately responsible to implement what is included in your safety plan so make sure you understand the scope of the work and feel confident that the consultant will work with you to ensure the plan suits your individual operation.