Technical Corner

Facility Worker Rental Equipment Risks and Responsibilities

September 7, 2023

At times, facility managers are required to outsource equipment needs to complete tasks. Rental companies offer an affordable alternative to purchasing a piece of equipment that may only be used once. The question becomes who is responsible for the training of the person using the equipment? The rental location or facility management, who may have little to no training themselves; let alone being deemed competent to undertake the training of other workers.

These types of circumstances are best addressed using the “what is reasonable” approach and be balanced with a workers “right to refuse” any task that they do not feel comfortable performing. Rental operations are not required to provide training but must provide the equipment owners manual so that supervisory staff and the workers might access safe and best practice of use information. Recommended personal protective equipment as identified in the manual should also be provided. Creating a written document that guides workers in this matter would be diligent.

Supervisory skills must include the ability to forecast risk as the work environment constantly changes. Supervisors must be prepared to provide leadership under these types of circumstances. Reading the rental equipment manual and providing coaching to a worker on the risks, hazards and safe use would be considered diligent. Alternatively, hiring a qualified contractor to perform the work using the specialty equipment may be a better approach to getting the work completed. Building this type of responsibility and guidelines into sub-contractor or constructor relationships that are working at a recreation facility is strongly recommended.

    Comments and/or Questions may be directed to Terry Piche, CRFP, CIT and Director, Training, Research and Development, Ontario Recreation Facilities Association

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