Introduction to this document

Hire agreement

If contractors ask to borrow work equipment, formalise the deal with our hire agreement. What does it cover?

Frequent request

Contractors often ask to borrow work equipment. Sometimes it will be agreed in advance or it might be needed because they’ve failed to bring the right kit on the day. The textbook may say that you should avoid lending equipment to the contractor. However, the practical solution is to help out.

What’s the problem?

The contractor is employer is responsible under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for ensuring that its workers have safe work equipment and methods of work. If you step in and provide the work equipment, you’re taking away the employer’s opportunity to ensure that it’s suitable for the job, is in a safe condition, that the workers are trained to use it and that they apply a safe system of work. In simple terms, by providing the equipment, you will be taking on these responsibilities yourself.

The solution

Rather than handing over the equipment and accepting the potential liability, cover yourself by using our Hire Agreement. This formalises the transaction between both parties and confirms that a proper handover of the equipment has taken place. In effect, you’re becoming a hire company.

Nothing left to chance

The document asks the contractor to confirm a number of important points. This includes “Anyone using the equipment will be trained to industry standard levels and will have been deemed competent to operate it by their employer”. This shows that you’ve taken reasonable steps to ensure that it will be used properly. The form also asks the company to confirm that the equipment you’re providing them with is in good condition.