Health and Safety Tips: Employing Contractors

During the year, most farms use contractors to complete work on the land by hedge cutting, silage and combining to name a few.

Both you and the contractors working for you and the sub-contractors have certain duties under Health & Safety law. This is known as a duty of care.

When selecting and employing contractors you need to consider the following:
  • When selecting a contractor to work on your farm, you must ensure they have sufficient, skills, competencies and qualifications to complete the jobs without risks to Health & Safety.
  • Consider the implications to Health & Safety made by the risk.
  • Conduct a risk assessment for the task. You and the contractor must be aware of the findings. You should already have risk assessments covering the risks and hazards on your farm.
  • The contractor must assess the risks of their tasks, make you aware, then together you must both consider how this affects the Health & Safety of both workforces or anyone else.
  • Educate your contractors of the risks from your activities and what you have done to reduce the risks and controls in place.
  • Decide how you will manage the work of the contractors.
  • Ensure that the contractor has relevant insurances, Employee & Public Liability.
  • Ensure that the contractor & their employees have all relevant licenses.
  • Tickets & thorough inspections that are relevant for using any equipment or machinery.
  • Ask for evidence of any RIDDOR/ HSE Improvement Notices/ Prohibitions in the last 5 years that have occurred in the course of their work.
  • Evidence of your first aid arrangements, training, equipment. 
  • The contractor shall be responsible for ensuring the site or area they are working in is safe and that safe working practices are implemented to ensure the safety of their employees and sub-contractors. Particular attention is required to ensure the safety of anyone else who could be affected by the contractor’s activities.
If you require any help with the Health and Safety on your farm you can call our office on 01981 590514 or email

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