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Duties of Prime Contractors

A prime contractor is responsible for coordinating the health and safety activities at multi-employer worksites. Their duties include:

  • ensuring policies, procedures, and safe work practices are used on the worksite; and
  • preparing a written plan that coordinates activities and identifies the prime contractor's backup and the supervisors on the worksite.

A prime contractor is designated by the project owner or is the owner of the project.

The term worksite is used to describe specific locations within a place of employment where the majority of the daily work happens. In Part III of The Saskatchewan Employment Act, worksite means the area at a place of employment where a worker works or is required or permitted to be present. An example of a worksite is a laboratory area for authorized staff only.

Certain multi-employer worksites will be required to have a prime contractor, while others will not. A prime contractor is required if:

  • there are 10 or more workers or self-employed persons under the direction of two or more employers; and
  • they are operating in the following industries:
    • construction (excluding construction of, or renovation to, residential dwellings consisting of less than four units;
    • forestry; and
    • oil and gas.

Under The Saskatchewan Employment Act, prime contractors' duties include, but are not limited to:

  • identifying and informing employers and self-employed persons about hazards for which the prime contractor is responsible;
  • ensuring, insofar as reasonably practicable, that the employers or self-employed persons at a worksite eliminate hazards identified by the prime contractor before activities or operations begin on the worksite and after they have commenced;
  • ensuring that the employers of self-employed persons at a worksite reduce or control hazards that cannot be reasonably eliminated;
  • ensuring that the contact information of the prime contractor is posted in a conspicuous location at the worksite;
  • ensuring that all activities at the worksite that may affect health and safety are coordinated;
  • ensuring, as far as reasonably practicable, that all employers and self-employed persons have adequate and appropriate occupational health and safety policies and procedures, safe work practices and equipment, and competent and informed workers;
  • identifying a competent person to oversee and direct, on behalf of the prime contractor, the activities of employers and self-employed persons at the worksite; and
  • preparing a written plan that explains how the requirements are to be met and delivering a copy of the written plan to all employers and self-employed persons before any work commences.

It is the responsibility of the employer and self-employed persons, to cooperate with the prime contractor to ensure information regarding health and safety programs and coordination of worksite activities are properly communicated between all parties.

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