Supply chains utilize third-party contractors and suppliers across every area of business, so it’s important to ensure their safety—neglecting to do so can lead to damaging repercussions. One way to prioritize your workers’ safety is by developing a contractor safety management procedure.
Contractor safety management procedures protect the safety and health of your workers, your third-party contractors and suppliers, and your reputation. Due to the unpredictable nature of the global supply chain, assessing contractor safety is of increasing importance to employers.
Third-party contractors sometimes face financial pressures and impending deadlines, potentially leading to cut corners or unsafe behaviors. Through third-parties, employers may also be at risk of working with contractors who may be undertrained and underqualified. All of these factors can jeopardize the safety of your workers.
There are many challenges and approaches to contractor management, but developing a contractor safety management procedure can normally be done in three easy steps:
Set safety specifications and pre-job qualifications for contractors
Every employer should establish safety rules and specifications and clearly communicate those expectations to all employees. These rules can be listed out throughout worksites or offices and in employee documents and handbooks. In these documents, it’s also important to clearly define roles and responsibilities between the employer and contractor.
Once you’ve laid out the rules and specifications for contractors, you’ll need to determine how to properly vet them. Software like Avetta ConnectTM can help guide your pre-job safety qualification process. Confirming contractors’ certification and previous claims or records can help you better prepare in keeping worksites safe.
Provide consistent trainings for contractors
Before projects begin, employers should ensure that all contractors and workers receive safety trainings. Trainings should be ongoing throughout a worker’s employment and should outline safety procedures in a way that’s tangible. When creating training schedules, employers should also develop a system where they can track and record safety trainings their contractors attend and when their next session is due.
Orientation meetings can also be held to introduce third parties to a company’s safety goals and requirements. Giving an introduction can allow new employees a chance to get acquainted with what protective equipment they should use for their tasks, understand how to report hazards and incidents, and see where they fit within the scheme of things.
Trainings are also a good way to involve third-party contractors in discussions with full-time employees, ask questions for management, and provide their thoughts and feedback on the safety procedures you have in place. Involving them in the process can go a long way towards building a strong safety culture.
Track and evaluate performance
Now that you have procedures and trainings in place, you’ll want to conduct periodic safety assessments to ensure the established safety rules are being followed and are working. This can easily be accomplished through routine inspections and worksite walk-throughs. To improve your contractor safety management program, use the feedback and results collected to help you make strategic choices of what to continue doing, what you should start doing, or what you need to stop.
A program that allows employers to confidentially report any avoidance of safety procedures or near misses can also be implemented. This way, it is not just the duty of management to report hazards and will give employees across all areas a level of accountability.