From time to time, strata managers and/or strata committees may need to engage the services of an external contractor to undertake work within a strata complex covering maintenance, repairs, or installation of new components.
While contractors or suppliers have a duty-of-care when entering a strata complex’s premises, it is in the interest of strata committees to introduce a contractor management system to reduce any potential risk or exposure from these external parties.
This is critical if their services include hot work. Hot work is any work that may generate flames, heat or sparks and includes cutting (wet/dry), grinding, welding and use of open flames.
As a minimum, contractor management systems should include:
- A contractor induction programme to ensure all safety, environmental and building user requirements are adhered to.
- Contractor registration and identification system (e.g. display of professional licence or contractor sticker) on individuals or their vehicles.
- Documentation listing names, positions and responsibilities of all contractors, onsite access, dates and time of access.
- Details of arrangements for managing occupational/workplace health and safety incidents, including contact details for all person(s) available to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from health and safety incidents.
- Outline of site safety rules and arrangements for ensuring all contractors, employees or visitors are aware of the rules.
- Other specific task or activity-specific training requirements.
- Safe work method statements for all activities assessed as having safety risks (including electrical, welding, working at heights, etc.).
- Sighted and copied insurance certificates.
Strata managers and/or strata committees should be clear on the scope of the work to be undertaken by an external party. They should confirm in writing what is included / excluded in quotations and document any perceived risks. A process for extending the agreed scope of work should be included, if required.