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HR 101 – WHAT TO DO WHEN . . . You Have Contractors Working on your Premises – Part 2

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Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Law and Best Practice requirements.

Moving along from last time, when we saw Philip, George the Contractor’s employee fall from a ladder when it’s one leg shattered, and where he hurt himself quite badly. Mike who owns the retail outlet where Philip had his accident may very well be liable for all Philips medical and recovery bills and we are taking a look at how he can protect himself from this.

Apparently there are six ways to ensure that Mike is covered from every possibility and it is these that we are going to have a look at in greater detail today.

First and most obvious is to ensure that your contractors have signed a contract with yourself (have a look at This contract must include (but not be limited to) the section 37(2) agreement, as we discussed last week, which states that the contractor will comply with all the health and safety laws and your own company rules.

The contract should also document that it is incumbent upon the contractor to supply you with a copy of their ‘Certificate of Good Standing’ from the Compensation Commissioner which is his proof that he is registered with Workmen’s Compensation.

Make sure that your contractors’ employees have been properly trained in the task that you are hiring them for. Make sure that they are included in any Health & Safety training that you may be doing with your own staff and that they are aware of your Company safety and health rules.

Make sure that your contractors are compliant in terms of the law. This includes (but is not limited to) things like First Aid kits and how to use them, fire drills, protective clothing and so on.

Make sure that the contractor that you have hired is fully aware of what their obligations are in terms of their responsibilities to their employees and their responsibility if one of your employees are hurt during the course of their employees activities.

If necessary make yourself a checklist of what is required on your site (in Mike’s case his new store) in order to ensure that you are in compliance with the Health and Safety Act.

Failure to do this could result in some very heavy medical bills, rehabilitation bills and additional salary bills that have not been budgeted for.

Remember that getting all your policies, procedures and templates in place is usually far more cost effective than paying the reactive bill.