More and more companies require contractors to have a Contractor Health and Safety File before they let them on site. Here is the procedure I wrote for one of my customers to control contractors. I put a table of the documents at the end of this article in order, with “A” documents being, in my opinion, vital.

Please contact me if you need help with any of this. I can add value with the Safety Plan, the Hazard and Risk Assessment and Job Observation.

My contact details are:

Mike Morrison
SHEQ and Beyond
‘Phone 083 316 6083

Click on the link below to print this article:

Contractor Safety File Contents sorted by priority


1.     Aim: To define the minimum contents of a sub-contractor’s Occupational Health and Safety File.

2.     Procedure: We are not experts in the work done by contractors, so what follows are only the minimum requirements to work on our site.

We expect contractors to work safely and to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them.

The contractors must select the optional documents, from the list below, they require and implement them. They must implement any other documents or procedures needed to work safely and as required by law.

2.1. The documents marked “priority A” must be in the Safety File before work starts, or as soon as possible after work starts.

2.1.1.        The Letter of Good standing (COID Certificate) must be current. Contractors often have trouble getting the letter on time, so we will accept a receipt as proof that the contractor is in good standing.

2.1.2.        A Public Liability Insurance Certificate covers us in the event of the contractor causing injury or death to third parties, or environmental damage.        The contractor should have a generic Safety Plan of how he works safely and what precautions he takes.

We expect the contractor to list items relating to his work and items specifically to his work on our site.

2.1.3.        The Contract between the Contractor and the Company can be as simple as a works order, or it can be a formal contract. It should be as detailed as necessary to describe the duties of both parties.

2.1.4.        The Appointments under the “OHS Act 85 of 1993 and Amendments”, and “Appointment letters and Training certificates” are dependent on the size of the contractor’s company, the number of workers he has on our site and what he is doing. We expect the contractor to comply with the OHS Act.

2.1.5.        The contractor should have a baseline Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment for the work he does. He needs to update this assessment, with us, for the work he is doing on our site. The update should not take long to do. Set aside about one and a half hours if we need to do the whole Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment.

2.1.6.        The contractor’s staff should have completed the baseline Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) training in the items identified by the baseline Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. We want to see the attendance documents for that training in the Safety File.

If the updated Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment on our site identifies training then the contractor must provide that training and put the records in the Safety File.

2.1.7.        The contractor conducts a Planned Job Observation when the job starts. He documents and implements any additional Occupational Health and Safety measures highlighted in the Planned Job Observation.

2.1.8.        The contractor keeps an updated List of all Personnel on site, so that, in the event of an evacuation, we know who to account for.

2.1.9.        The contractor keeps Medical Fitness Certificates, including Fitness to Work at Heights if necessary, in the Safety File for all of his staff working on our site.

2.2. The priority “B” documents need to be in the Safety File if they are applicable to the job. The contractor must select the documents needed.

2.3. The priority “C” documents would be nice to have if they are available. We would rather see a summary of the OHS Act that is being used, than the whole Act unused, in the file.

2.4. The priority “D” documents are available in the OHS Act and regulations. They can be found if needed.

Other customers may require priority “C” and “D” documents in the Safety File. We do not mind if they are in the file, but we do not require them.

List of contents of a Occupational Health and Safety File

Prior-ity 1 Prior-ity 2                                          File Contents
A 1 Letter of Good Standing (CIOD Certificate)
A 3 Public Liability Insurance Certificate
A 4 Safety Plan
A 5 Contract between the contractor and the company
A 6 Appointments under the OHS Act 85 of 1993
A 7 Appointment letters and Training certificates
A 8 Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments – Baseline and project
A 9 Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) training attendance docs.
A 10 Planned Job Observation
A 11 List of all personnel on site
A 12 Medical fitness certificates, including fitness to work at heights, if necessary
B 1 Registers:
B 2 ·       Tools and Equipment
B 3 ·       PPE
B 4 ·       Ladders
B 5 ·       Scaffolding
B 6 ·       Fire equipment
B 7 ·       Portable electrical Equipment
B 8 ·       Lock-out
B 9 Fall Protection Plan
B 10 Scaffolding Plan And Check List
B 11 List of all Hazardous Chemical Substances (HCS)
B 12 Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS’) for HCS’ above in 16 point form
B 13 37.2 agreement between contractor and sub-contractor
C 1 SHE Policy
C 2 Organogram for Project
C 4 Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and regulations
D 1 Incident reporting procedures
D 2 Employers report of incident form
D 3 Resumption report form
D 4 Annexure 1 and Company Investigation Forms
D 5 Tax clearance Certificate


green-ink This entry was posted in. Uncategorized Contractor Occupational Health and Safety File.