Employers have a duty to protect their workers and contractors, but according to studies, there are still thousands of work-related injuries just in the U.S. alone. In fact, in 2020 the number of fatal work injuries in the U.S. stood at 4,764 with on average about 13 worker fatalities a day.
This growing rate of work-related fatalities has led regulatory bodies like OSHA to tighten their grip on workplace safety protocol violations. Following a January 2021 revision, OSHA increased its penalty for willful or repeated violations to more than $135,00, but the repercussions of workplace incidents go far beyond penalties.
Although there are serious repercussions for safety violations and many organizations choose safety as a focal point, businesses are ill prepared due to improper contractor management. They recognize third-party compliance as the most difficult risk exposure to address and properly manage. One of the best ways to address a critical aspect of ensuring an incident-free workplace is contractor compliance.
What is contractor qualification?
Contractor qualification or prequalification is the act of gathering and assessing information that determines a contractor's capability, capacity, resources, management processes and performance.
One of the most effective ways to deal with third-party non-compliance is to develop a strong and effective contractor qualification framework. Prequalifying, training, and requalifying contractors form the cornerstone of safe work.
If a company fails to establish an effective contractor qualification program, it could face significant risks such as civil penalties from government regulatory agencies, tort liability arising from personal injury and fatality, and even criminal prosecution of company supervisors and upper management.
Supply chain qualification and management solutions can:
Reduce risk & costs
Provide additional value to contractors
Strengthen existing relationships
Simplify the compliance process
What challenges can arise when establishing a robust contractor qualification program?
Staggering levels of documentation → Many programs require mountains of paperwork and documentation to sift through or provide.
Differences in expectations → Where organizations fail to establish an effective supply chain qualification and management process is when they take a one-size-fits-all approach. Qualifications should be adjusted based on company size, risk exposure or business discipline.
Communication → For an effective qualification process, companies must properly communicate safety compliance requirements to contractors to reduce frustrations and prevent any non-compliance issues.
Difficult software → Even when contractors understand qualification requirements, non-transparent and difficult software can be an impediment. Having intuitive tools and processes that support the demands of reporting can be greatly beneficial.
ROI → Even with thousands of safety incidents a year, business and contractors still find third-party qualification as an unnecessary expense. Using an efficient program with a large supplier network and compliance support will save both time and money.
Avetta is a leader in contractor management, and with over 15 years of industry experience, we can help you establish a robust contractor pre-qualification program that aligns with your expectations and your business goals.