What You Might Not Have Known Your Principal Contractors Are Responsible For

What You Might Not Have Known Your Principal Contractors Are Responsible For

Published March 8, 2021

1 minute read

With so much upheaval right now in the construction industry, the only certainty is uncertainty. The current political and market conditions mean it is more important than ever to be on top form in understanding a project’s potential risks and negotiating contractual responsibilities.

Experience tells us the root cause of many disputes are contractors not identifying and dealing with a risk sufficiently early, making it much more difficult and costly to recover entitlements. Is this because they do not realise what they are responsible for?

Principal contractors need to know what they are responsible for to reduce risk.  We know that principal contractors are the contractors appointed by the client to coordinate the construction phase of a project where it involves more than one contractor. But what are they responsible for?

A recent HSE Study states that principle contractors are responsible for planning, managing, monitoring, and coordinating health and safety in the construction phase of a project.

This includes:

  • The principal contractor should be liaising with the client and the principal designer.
  • The principal contractor is responsible for preparing the construction phase plan and ensuring there are suitable welfare facilities provided from the start. This is needed to be maintained throughout the construction phase.
  • Organising cooperation between contractors and coordinating their work falls to be the job of the principal contractor.

They are also tasked with making sure:

  • Suitable site inductions are provided to ensure the safety of workers and any further information and training they need.
  • Reasonable steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access to the site.
  • Workers are consulted and engaged in securing their personnel health and safety.
  • Ensure that anyone they appoint has the skills, knowledge, experience, and, where relevant, the organisational capability to carry out their work safely and without risk to health.

This isn’t an easy task to manage for anyone and companies need to help contractors achieve this. To find out more information as to how EcoOnline and our Contractor Management Software can help you with your contractor's requirements or streamline any of your organisation's health and safety processes. Why not Request A Demo from one of our super friendly product specialists.


Author Laura Fitzgerald

Laura Fitzgerald is a Content Marketing Manager with EcoOnline. She has been writing about health and safety topics since 2017, with a focus on the areas of improving employee safety engagement and EHS legislation.

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