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    The Digital Solution to Managing Contractor Safety

    28 March 2024 - Evotix

       

    In recent decades, contractors have played an increasingly significant role in many businesses. Providing specialist skills, they help fill workforce gaps, and offer flexibility. But it's still up to the company to keep them safe.  

    If contractors lack a thorough understanding of the site, the operations and safety procedures, they risk placing themselves, other workers and the company’s reputation in danger. An effective contractor safety management program is crucial. 

    In a world where the risks to business are ever-evolving – ranging from a potential global recession to climate change – no company can afford for contractor safety to be the weak link in the chain. Especially not when solutions are so readily available.  

    Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”  

    Those that adapt are the ones that survive and thrive. And adaptation in these challenging times is what will keep any business agile and responsive.  

    For those working in Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), this is even more imperative, as they are on the front line of risk mitigation. Businesses cannot afford long periods of interruption. It is crucial they adapt, responding quickly and seamlessly to accommodate any change. 

    Where technology can help

    An integrated, centrally managed system with digitized workflows allows more control, giving greater insight into the activities of contractors with the opportunity to mitigate risks at every point. 

    But why is it even needed? Why is it such a struggle to manage the risks presented by contractors? 

    • Siloed data – decisions made in isolation can mean information is not readily or easily shared. 

    • Partial view – without the end-to-end perspective, EHS managers cannot get a complete and comprehensive view of contractor companies, their workers and the risks they pose. 

    • Different safety practices – working at different sites under different companies, contractors may not know the right procedures to follow. 

    • Keeping track – losing oversight over who is onsite and undertaking which tasks can endanger employees and contractors. 

    • Monitoring performance – it can be challenging to effectively monitor the contractors that pose greater risk and identify areas for improvement. 

    • Added paperwork – using paper-based or multiple systems can make any review a slow and cumbersome process. 

     

    This leaves companies asking themselves a number of questions: 

    • How do we continue operations and keep contractors safe? 

    • How can we accurately assess contractor organizations? 

    • What documentation do we need to create, and which records do we need to retain? 

    • How do we effectively engage and monitor the workforce to make sure new procedures are followed? 

     

    The answer lies with digital solutions

    Integrated workflow software packages offer a holistic view of contractor safety risks. This allows an EHS manager to identify and mitigate potential risks to the contractor and the wider business, and offers a whole range of related benefits including: 

    • A central register of contractors – a place to store details of past, present and future hires, along with pre-qualification assessments, relevant documents and a way to set up automated alerts and reminders of key review dates. 

    • Trackable competency and training – making it easier to assign competencies, track training needs and generate a complete training needs analysis including automated alerts for expiring qualifications. 

    • Engaged contractors – with a central portal to access safety information, and digitized mobile tools for self-assessment, contractors can stay easily engaged while on-site. 

    • Permit to Work process – the ability to review risks and hazards, send a job safety card, gain visibility over who is on-site and generate pre and post checklists for safe completion of work. 

    • Streamlined data collection – a central portal collecting contractor safety information including any reported incidents and hazards, allowing for a more accurate assessment of performance. 

    • Improved performance – track corrective and preventative actions, capture and share lessons learned with contractors. 

    • Enhanced integration – seamless integration with other software means that data can be analyzed centrally, giving managers a more comprehensive picture of contractor risk.

    Today’s technological solutions offer a host of advantages when it comes to managing the safety of a workforce. Mobile, interactive programs that can be updated at any time and place make it easy to have a thorough grasp of the nuanced risk of any workplace.  

    It might seem that using contractors adds complexity but doesn't have to be case. Their needs and competencies can be easily assessed and managed by the same digital solutions, seamlessly integrating them into the rest of the workforce. 

    Where a business’s resilience relies on its ability to adapt, those that embrace digital solutions will always be steps ahead. 

    Interested in learning more on how you can better support your contractors? Check out our blog: Tips for Elevating Contractor Safety To Meet Growing Demand 

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