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Leitlinie Werkverträge Source: Rob Daly / iStock

Guidelines on Occupational Health and Safety When Cooperating With Several Employers Under Contracts for Services

Occupational health and safety legislation calls for an equal level of occupational health and safety for all employees. Implementing this objective in daily operations is a huge challenge, particularly when it comes to cooperating with several employers under contracts for services. These guidelines were developed to allow inspectors to act with confidence in this respect, as it will become necessary to ensure adequate supervision going forward. At the same time, it is also necessary to raise awareness for this subject and the associated problems among the affected corporate stakeholders: clients and contractors; associations and chambers; members of works and staff councils.

Once a contractor’s employees enter their client’s premises, they face a new working environment and new work processes within the company of deployment. At the same time, the client’s permanent staff encounter employees who are under contract for services and who are often not particularly familiar with circumstances at the company of deployment. Some tasks may also be allocated to subcontractors, meaning contractors may also simultaneously be clients. Risks that arise from this cooperation must be prevented if possible and remaining risks must be kept as low as possible; responsibilities and the distribution thereof must be clearly recognisable and must be observed by clients and contractors alike. Accidents at work are often the result of a lack in communication and insufficient coordination, making functioning cooperation and mutual agreements among stakeholders essential. As a result, assessing how clients and contractors cooperate, and ensuring that they cooperate, not only guarantees the safety and health of their respective employees at work but is also an increasingly important subject for supervisory bodies. These guidelines apply exclusively to contracts for services and do not affect any other type of contract.

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