Contractors working safely in your outstanding care home

What should you do when contractors are working in your care home? One of our clients recently called us following a particularly nasty accident at their care home.

A new lift was being installed by a lift engineering company that the care home owners had appointed.

During the installation somehow the lift engineer managed to jolt the lift mechanism resulting in him suffering lacerations to his face.

Once patched up and off to hospital the care home owners wondered if this, in anyway, meant they might have a claim made against them and so contacted Brents for advice.

We reassured them that it would be highly unlikely that they would become embroiled in any claim and that in all likelihood the injured person would claim against their own employer but, even if there was a claim the care home insurance we had arranged would defend and deal with it.

However, this highlights the fact that on any given day there could be a contractor working at your care home.

Painters, decorators, plumbers, hairdressers, chiropodists and entertainers are all regular visitors that are contracted to carry out work within a care home and it is important for the home manager to have a contractors record that notes the firm name, work they are doing and that you have been provided with evidence that they hold liability insurance.

If a contractor needs to use heat when working, such as a blow torch or soldering iron it is important to ensure that you have a Hot Works Permit in place and that this is issued to the contractor prior to works commencing so that they work to a safe standard to reduce the risk of fire.

· The liability insurance must show the period of cover (so you know it’s not out of date)

· the limit of liability (£2,000,000 is generally considered the minimum amount acceptable)

· and that the business activities stated cover the works you require them to carry out for you.

At Brents we are happy for our care home clients to ask us to check the contractors insurance if they are unsure.

Most care home insurance policies will contain a condition that you check that contactors working have their own insurance and if you haven’t, or can’t substantiate that you have, you may not be covered.

Get advice, call your insurers and see what they say, or call Brents Insurance for independent, impartial advice.