Contractors – Working with other businesses

Even if you are self-employed you still carry the same duties under the legislation as the main contractor.

If a contractor, in turn, engages other businesses then they too must assume some of the responsibility for their work. A contractor is most likely to have the greatest influence and control of their own work activities and workers (or contractors).

There should be a way of recording your planning and the ways in which you share this information. All businesses should have access to information to keep themselves or their workers safe.

Your primary duty remains to prevent harm arising from your work. Identify risks that could arise and share information between relevant parties.

The following key steps should be followed by contractors:


  • Engage with the main contractor to identify risks
  • If engaging your own contractors share information relating to risks, safety plans and expectations


  • Provide the main contractor with evidence to demonstrate your health and safety procedures eg Task Analysis, Training Registers
  • If engaging contractors of your own, prequalify their procedures. Make sure you are happy with how safely they will work. 
  • Find out more about HazardCo’s Pre-Qualification Tools here, or get in touch with the team to find out if it’s right for you.


  • If engaging your own contractors, select them based Select the contractors based on prequalification outcome and any other factors including availability, skills etc.


  • Complete risk assessments (e.g. Risk Assessment on the HazardCo App, Task Analysis, or other risk management plans).
  • Agree on these with your workers and other businesses


  • Complete Risk Assessments at the start of the day to make the work area is safe to work in
  • Hold regular toolbox meeting, so all workers are aware of safety expectations, share this with other contractors on-site where they are affected by your work
  • Investigate any incidents and share the findings with the team and the main contractor


  • Review health and safety performance with your own workers and contractors
  • If engaging contractors, review during the project and post-project review


Working along other businesses is a natural part of residential construction. Everyone on-site has a duty to open up the lines of communication and look out for each other. 

You can read more about contractor management and overlapping duties here or if you have any questions about working with other businesses on-site, give our expert Advisory Team a call on 0800 555 339.

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