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Mark-W  
#1 Posted : 10 February 2020 09:16:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

I have a client who is running into a few issues. They have a contract with the NHS to do some work. Due to the timescales they have subbed it out. Which the NHS team onsite are happy with. There is no condition in the contract which states that we can't sub it out. So all happy on that front.

My problem is, the subby has submitted his RAMS for approval to the NHS site contact. RAMS are deemed good but they have asked that they are changed to show my clients company name rather than the subby.

Am I right in thinking this is wrong? Surely the risk belongs to the suby and the control measures put in place are the responsibility of the subby. We have looked over the RAMS and can find no issue with them, the same as the NHS. 

I find it strange that they want our company name on them though.

Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 10 February 2020 10:01:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

The NHS pays your client which establishes the contractual arrangement for the works so it is your clients RAMS that would be part of the paperwork with the NHS

Even though the sub-contractor is a different company for this job they are your clients representatives under the contract at the NHS site ergo your clients risk to control. If something did go wrong the paper trail needs to be clear which is all the NHS are asking for - you can't take the money and neglect the responsibilities.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Mark-W on 10/02/2020(UTC), Mark-W on 10/02/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 10 February 2020 10:01:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

The NHS pays your client which establishes the contractual arrangement for the works so it is your clients RAMS that would be part of the paperwork with the NHS

Even though the sub-contractor is a different company for this job they are your clients representatives under the contract at the NHS site ergo your clients risk to control. If something did go wrong the paper trail needs to be clear which is all the NHS are asking for - you can't take the money and neglect the responsibilities.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Mark-W on 10/02/2020(UTC), Mark-W on 10/02/2020(UTC)
RayRapp  
#4 Posted : 10 February 2020 10:03:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

I assume you are the PC, in which case you are responsible for site safety and the subby you have appointed. You could point this out to the NHS rep, or add your company name possibly in brackets to the RAMS if that appeases the client.

Adding or changing a name does not negate any legal responsibilities in my opinion - so not really a big deal in the wider picture.

thanks 1 user thanked RayRapp for this useful post.
Mark-W on 10/02/2020(UTC)
Mark-W  
#5 Posted : 10 February 2020 10:06:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

@roundtuit

Many thanks for your response, but my thought process siad that if, god forbid something went wrong and we had our name on the RAMS even though we had no part inwriting them it would cause issues. We've looked at the RAMS and have an email chain to say that and the fact we have agreed them. The NHS knows we are subbing out this job, not a normal occurance with this contract and they understand there are other interested parties in this.

I wouldn't be comfortable putting my clients name on a set of RAMS written by industry experts where we have no expertise.

A Kurdziel  
#6 Posted : 10 February 2020 11:03:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

What does the RAMS actually say?  Does it assign responsibility for carrying out the processes according to the Method Statement to the subbie or the PC?

Mark-W  
#7 Posted : 10 February 2020 11:06:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

I'm not with that client today but from what I remember of the RAMS there is no mention of my client. It's all referenced to the subby

craigroberts76  
#8 Posted : 10 February 2020 14:40:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
craigroberts76

as far as I'm aware (as stated above) if your client is getting paid then its their responsiblity to carry out the RAMS (or be named on the clients) as they should be communicating it to the subby, not the other way round.

If your client is happy with the subbies RAMS why wouldnt they want their name on them?

Mark-W  
#9 Posted : 10 February 2020 14:47:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

The RAMS produced are done by a subby conducting work were not qualified to do so have no expertise in. We've looked at the RAMS and deem them good, they covered all the bases that we'd expect but we are in no position to critique them and offer better solutions

craigroberts76  
#10 Posted : 10 February 2020 15:00:32(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
craigroberts76

you still need to sign them off.  I've just sent RAMS to our client for work we're doing and specialise in, but their H&S sign them off before we start work.  If we were subbing, the subby would submit to me and then I'd check and send up to client, thats the chain of control.

Roundtuit  
#11 Posted : 10 February 2020 15:22:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: Mark-W Go to Quoted Post
I wouldn't be comfortable putting my clients name on a set of RAMS written by industry experts where we have no expertise. 

This is not personal but unfortunately will read as rude: If your client doesn't know what they are doing should they really be doing it? 

Roundtuit  
#12 Posted : 10 February 2020 15:22:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: Mark-W Go to Quoted Post
I wouldn't be comfortable putting my clients name on a set of RAMS written by industry experts where we have no expertise. 

This is not personal but unfortunately will read as rude: If your client doesn't know what they are doing should they really be doing it? 

Mark-W  
#13 Posted : 10 February 2020 15:28:32(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: Mark-W Go to Quoted Post
I wouldn't be comfortable putting my clients name on a set of RAMS written by industry experts where we have no expertise. 

This is not personal but unfortunately will read as rude: If your client doesn't know what they are doing should they really be doing it? 

I get your drift and not rude at all. But we have a FM contract with them and then they do off contract works. Which is normal. We get first refusal on jobs. So we had a subby quote for the job, we then tendered our price based on the subbies quote and received a PO for the job. So because we had no expertise in that field doesn't stop us tendering for work. I'm assuming this is how most FM companys operate unless they are national companies with a huge spectrum of trades covered inhouse

craigroberts76  
#14 Posted : 10 February 2020 15:32:02(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
craigroberts76

ok, so say a worker is killed and they said the RAMS were not good enough, who do you think would be liable?

Mark-W  
#15 Posted : 10 February 2020 15:39:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

Originally Posted by: craigroberts76 Go to Quoted Post

ok, so say a worker is killed and they said the RAMS were not good enough, who do you think would be liable?

So does it sit with my client no matter what happens? The subby have submitted their RAMS to us, we said OK they look good. They go to the NHS and they say yes they're good. So we have 3 companys that say the RAMS are sufficient. So when something goes wrong which link in this chain is responsible.

Part of our contract with the NHS building is that no engr is allowed onsite without having submitted their RAMS previously for clearance.

RVThompson  
#16 Posted : 10 February 2020 15:53:17(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
RVThompson

Not sure if this answers the original post, but the article here does give guidance to the law of tort in the relationship between principal contractor and subbie:

https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/uk/insights/articles-and-briefings/courts-clarify-law-main-contractors-liability-sub-contractors

'A general rule of contributory negligence is that a main contractor is not liable for the negligence of its independent subcontractor.'

Edited by user 10 February 2020 15:55:07(UTC)  | Reason: Forgot the link

craigroberts76  
#17 Posted : 10 February 2020 15:58:30(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
craigroberts76

Originally Posted by: Mark-W Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: craigroberts76 Go to Quoted Post

ok, so say a worker is killed and they said the RAMS were not good enough, who do you think would be liable?

So does it sit with my client no matter what happens? The subby have submitted their RAMS to us, we said OK they look good. They go to the NHS and they say yes they're good. So we have 3 companys that say the RAMS are sufficient. So when something goes wrong which link in this chain is responsible.

Part of our contract with the NHS building is that no engr is allowed onsite without having submitted their RAMS previously for clearance.

who ever is the first point of contract with the client (i.e. your client) , other subbies will also be liable but fines are largest at the top.

Mark-W  
#18 Posted : 10 February 2020 16:00:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

@craigroberts76  But your last post goes against what I took from the link in the previous post. 

Roundtuit  
#19 Posted : 10 February 2020 16:09:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

When the preverbial hits the fan it will be the court that decides what was suitable and sufficient

If your client has no RAMS in their name how will they defend a position?

In the prosecution reports this typically reads as "failed to undertake....."

The case link is about negligence in the job not the method of delivery which is what RAMS are set to describe

Roundtuit  
#20 Posted : 10 February 2020 16:09:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

When the preverbial hits the fan it will be the court that decides what was suitable and sufficient

If your client has no RAMS in their name how will they defend a position?

In the prosecution reports this typically reads as "failed to undertake....."

The case link is about negligence in the job not the method of delivery which is what RAMS are set to describe

RayRapp  
#21 Posted : 11 February 2020 08:58:02(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

I am surprised by some of the comments.

First of all, it's not uncommon for a main contractor or PC if you prefer, to engage a subcontractor to carry out works for whatever reason. As a general rule the subcontractor provides their RAMS for the work to be undertaken and a diligent PC would review those RAMS to see if they are suitable and sufficient.

Both the PC and subcontractor have legal duties pursuant to CDM 2015 and HSAWA. A piece of paper does little to insulate an organisation from those duties. Indeed, most method statements are not followed verbatim and risk assessment are usually a generic load of tosh in my experience. 

thanks 1 user thanked RayRapp for this useful post.
aud on 12/02/2020(UTC)
Hsquared14  
#22 Posted : 11 February 2020 12:10:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Hsquared14

What I would have expected would have been that the RAMS were presented to your client and that then your client and the Subby presented them to the NHS after your client had assessed them for any issues such as potential conflict with their procedures or other contractors working in the area.  My way of doing it would have some sort of acknowledgement with the RAMS or on the RAMS to show that this checking process has been carried out.  At the moment the NHS has no indication that anyone from your client has assessed the RAMS or checked for any potential conflicts of any description.  Your NHS contact is probably trying to force that this assessment and acknowledgement actually happens.

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aud on 12/02/2020(UTC)
Mark-W  
#23 Posted : 13 February 2020 11:16:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

Perhaps my opening post wasn't clear or my use of language wasn't the best.

Subby submitted RAMS to us, we reviewed and forwarded to NHS, NHS contact has come back and said that the RAMS have to be in our name. Hence the question.

We've resubmitted the RAMS stating we have reviewed them and they are fine. Just waiting for our contact to come back to us. I see no reason why they should now refuse the RAMS but you never know with some inhouse H&S teams

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