As part of a drive to better manage contractors in the new health and safety environment, a number of Waikato and Bay of Plenty councils have recently launched an online initiative that uses simple software to capture contractors’ health and safety management systems and insurance details, enabling them to pre-qualify for work with councils participating in the scheme.

The process will help Councils ensure contractors working for or on Council assets and/or supplying services have effective health and safety systems in place, to prevent harm to people and the environment or damage to property.

For contractors, the new scheme will make them compliant to work for all councils participating in the scheme, and remove the need for them to supply separate details to each council or for each contract sought. In essence, it allows contractors to “do it once and do it right”.

Councils currently involved are Hamilton City, Waikato Region, Waikato, Waipa, Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Otorohanga, Waitomo, South Waikato, Taupo and Rotorua District Councils. Councils in the Bay of Plenty will start using the system this month (November), and from March 2017, councils throughout New Zealand will be able to participate.

Contractors need to complete a simple on-line questionnaire and provide their health and safety documentation to show that they understand and comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and any associated Regulations.

There is a small cost to become prequalified, with a sliding scale ranging from $180 – $900 depending on the number of staff employed by the contractor. Monitoring of insurance policies attracts another $25 per policy per year.

Applications are evaluated by a health and safety professional. Once the evaluator is satisfied with the contractor’s health and safety management systems, the contractor receives a confirmation email advising of their ‘approved’ status.

Once a contractor is ‘pre-qualified,’ their status is valid for two years at all participating councils. Automatic email notifications will be sent two months prior to the expiry of any pre-qualification.

Insurance checks will be conducted annually and new certificates requested as existing insurances expire. Participating councils will not allow contractors to carry out work for them if they cannot prove that they are adequately and appropriately insured.

Site-specific safety plans will still be required when physical work is to be carried out, and council representatives will monitor the performance of each contractor.

Each council will be setting its own deadline as to when all relevant contractors are required to be pre-qualified – that information is available from each council’s health and safety staff or on their website.

As contractors become pre-qualified, company/industry details will be accessible on a shared database. This will provide visibility to contractors and council staff to identify who is approved, assisting with the tendering process and council procurement.

The scheme will be available to councils throughout New Zealand from March 2017.

ENDS

For more information, contact:
Sally Davis
Chief Executive
Waikato Local Authority Shared Services Ltd
Sally.davis@jowettconsulting.co.nz
021 150 2667

Hamilton City Council sent this media release on behalf of Waikato Local Authority Shared Services Ltd.