Health and safety obligations on recruiters

It has recently come to light that Royal Mail has decided it is unsafe for its staff to deliver post to certain properties following health and safety assessments. The risks include uneven road surfaces which have reportedly resulted in multiple “near misses”, and the risk of a cat attack through the letter box. This has led us to question health and safety rules and the impact on recruiters.

So what are your health and safety obligations towards your temps? Under health and safety legislation the employer is responsible for its employees, and these obligations apply however you contract with your candidates. In addition, your clients have health and safety obligation as your temps are on their site and acting under the client’s instruction. Co-operation is key to ensure compliance and to ensure the provision of any equipment needed to allow candidates to work in a safe environment.

Specifically, your clients should ensure that they are taking agency workers into account when carrying out health and safety risk assessments, taking measures to limit these risks and passing this information to you. You ought to ensure that your clients have carried out an assessment, and if the client information is not forthcoming, you may decide to go on site to assess any risks yourself.

Unfortunately, carrying out your own on-site assessments for the Royal Mail could involve you trying to deliver letters to houses with angry animals hiding under the letterbox – any volunteers?

Author: Emma Hamilton

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