This is not entirely true for, if anything goes wrong, it is the user organisation rather than the appointed person who carries the can and is likely to be prosecuted. Clause 5.1 of BS7121,Part 1, 2006 makes it clear that although the employing organisations must “satisfy themselves that the contractor has the necessary competence to carry out the work,” the paragraph in italics in 5.2 reminds them that “it does not relieve them from these obligations”.

You will be aware that there have been several prosecutions under section 3.1 of the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974, where organisations have been fined for failing to ensure the health and safety of persons not in their employ – the most recent, I believe, was Gleesons.

Ivor Kiddle,

Quinto Crane and Plant, UK