What Is Contractor Safety Management?
19 January 2023 - Evotix
Hiring skilled contractors to fill the gaps in your company’s workforce is happening more frequently. But contractors are, by definition, temporary workers, and don’t always have the skills, qualifications and experience to match the rest of your team. Because of these differences, it may be difficult to protect their health and safety. That’s where contractor safety management comes in.
What is contractor safety management?
Contractor safety management is a system of procedures that organizations follow to ensure that contractors, like full-time employees, remain safe and healthy. These processes can include providing specialized training, identifying and mitigating potential risks, and addressing near-misses and incidents. Establishing good contractor safety management practices helps maintain the safety of contractors, as well as that of your larger team, while also supporting your EHS goals.
Today, a growing number of companies use software solutions to streamline the various processes involved in support of contractor safety management. Some solutions run on mobile applications, making vital information like procedures, regulations and warnings accessible to contractors. These same solutions also provide an easy-to-use platform for effective training. If your company’s contractor management system doesn’t offer these capabilities, it may be time to consider implementing a software solution to maximize efficiency and keep your contractors safe.
Why is contractor safety management important?
With the increasing role contractors play in today’s businesses, effective management of their health and safety needs is crucial.
While firms expect contractors to possess varying levels of experience, training and competence, they often don’t anticipate the additional challenges that accompany a contractor’s position. Often under increased financial pressure because of their limited employment and because they may not be eligible for comparable benefits granted to full-time employees, the need to pursue the next big project can lead contractors to rush while working, making incidents and injuries more likely.
For these reasons, temporary workers should be treated with the same consideration as employees to ensure they’re as prepared as possible to carry out their jobs. Thorough training isn’t just a smart business choice – it helps your contractors stay safe and healthy.
How should we approach contractor safety management?
Managing contractor safety is a considerable task, and it can be hard to know where to begin. But whether your company uses manual processes or a software solution, including these four steps will put you on the right track:
1. Determine required qualifications
If a contractor’s skills don’t measure up, they pose a significant risk to themselves and your greater team.
In addition to determining the required qualifications, firms should assess the particular hazards associated with the jobs they’re outsourcing and ensure that safety management systems are in place to manage those hazards. By performing a thorough assessment of the skills, training, qualifications and hazards connected to the job, companies can ensure they’ve done everything in their power to mitigate the additional risks involved in hiring a contractor.
2. Establish performance agreements
Before hiring a contractor, make an agreement detailing the duties and responsibilities of the position being outsourced. This agreement should clearly establish expectations of the contractor throughout their time in the role.
3. Provide necessary training
While your contractors must meet the qualifications required to perform their duties, it’s also important to provide them with additional training to make sure they can do the job as effectively as possible. Even if they have received relevant training prior to securing the job, you can’t be sure that training will be specifically applicable to your jobsite and the contractor’s exact role. Of course, this additional training doesn’t just apply to their ability to perform their job well; contractors need to understand the safety risks associated with their duties and how the company expects hazards, near misses and incidents to be effectively reported.
4. Monitor performance and provide feedback
Employers should regularly monitor their contractors’ performance and ensure that safety requirements are met. They should also engage in regular dialogue with contractors to ensure that they’re engaged in their work, and provide any necessary feedback that could help them improve their performance. If there are any areas in which contractors are not meeting these requirements, your company can then provide additional safety training.
Benefits of contractor safety management software
While these four goals can be achieved using manual processes, leading companies across multiple industries use software solutions to support their management of contractor safety. These systems enable companies to maintain high health and safety standards for both contractors and full-time employees by automating and centralizing safety management procedures, boosting engagement with health and safety, enhancing communication and making it easier to manage and analyze incident and hazard reports.
Implementing a software solution can also simplify the process of hiring and onboarding contractors and streamline their management once they’re in the door. Mobile portals, an innovative feature included in some solutions, make administering training and feedback easier and more efficient.
For additional information on contractor safety management, check out our Contractor Safety Management Software.
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