Appointing designers or contractors

When appointing a designer or a contractor, sensible and proportionate enquiries should be made about their organisational capability to carry out the work. The standard health and safety questionnaires in PAS 91 (Publicly available specification) for construction related procurement are regarded as a useful aid.

Those making appointments should check that the designer or contractor have enough experience and a good record in managing the risks involved in projects. Due weight should be given to membership of an established professional institution or body where those bodies have arrangements in place providing reassurance that health and safety is part of the route to membership.

Questions should be asked of individuals to ensure that they have sufficient skills, knowledge and experience to carry out the work involved and that they keep those capabilities up to date.

Designers or contractors can use independent assessors to assess their organisational capability, including assessors who are members of the Safety Schemes in Procurement Forum. The SSIP website provides a free search facility for any business that has undergone an SSIP assessment.

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