With 2023 right around the corner, many of us are beginning to wind down to take a step back and spend time with our families. However, once the new year starts, work kicks back into action rather quickly. In our careers, we often take the last month of the year to reflect on our achievements and shortcomings in an effort to adequately prepare ourselves for what’s to come. In the world of safety and contractor management, there are endless initiatives one can take on to ensure that they have a strong start to the year ahead. With the industry wide disruptions experienced, this article will highlight and discuss the top trends that are expected to be the primary drivers of contractor management in 2023.
Contractor Management Software:
Let’s face it, almost everything nowadays is going digital, and contractor management is no exception. Just in the last decade, the use of technology in the contractor management space has skyrocketed. And with its adoption came revolutionary software developments that made it easier for hiring organizations to manage their contractors. Health and safety software for small businesses have become more apparent in today's climate. Businesses will continue to see and take part in this trend all throughout next year.
The usage of contractor management software is in an upward trend due to the significant reduction in time and money spent trying to better manage contractors. Businesses realize the value of technology in spending less hours chasing down contractors for required documents, gathering relevant information for an audit, or manually onboarding new contractors. Eliminating the administrative burden from these processes subsequently reduces operating costs. Not to mention, software ensures that you don’t have to outsource your processes to anyone else.
In order to excel in their compliance efforts, businesses need to be afforded complete transparency. Contractor software helps organizations by providing them with real time compliance insights so they can make informed decisions regarding how they manage their workforce. As OSHA formulates their plans to enhance audits and enforce standards in the new year, it’s on you to enhance the reliability of your safety program.
The Covid-19 pandemic that began in 2020 brought on unprecedented challenges that took the health and safety sector by storm. It uprooted everything we knew about safety and presented safety professionals with a renewed opportunity to redefine what safety truly means. Now almost three years after the worldwide pandemic was announced, we continue to witness a seismic shift in how organizations approach workplace safety.
In 2023, hiring organizations and their contractor counterparts will continue to trend towards better safety program implementation in the pursuit of better business practices. Through the use of different initiatives such as hazard control management, more comprehensive contractor/employee training, disease management, and so on, safety is becoming a larger topic of conversation than it was previously.
Unfortunately for some companies, safety up till now has been an afterthought. Safety programs were often aimed at doing the bare minimum, just getting by right under OSHA’s radar. In 2023, expect organizations to take a firmer stance on safety in a manner that will translate to an exemplary safety culture all across the board.
For the longest time, health and safety was centered around its physical aspect. Organizations are now realizing that contractors’ and employees’ mental wellbeing also plays an instrumental role in safety. If a worker is suffering from mental health challenges, their likelihood of injury increases due to factors such as complacency with best practices, reduced ability to pay attention to tasks, and negligence as a whole because they are too mentally distressed to put in the required effort. 2023 will see a modified definition of health and safety management by including mental health as part of the conversation as more employees acknowledge that it has a direct effect on how their workforce operates.
Personal Protective Equipment:
In the beginning of 2020, the world suffered an unprecedented hurdle in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. There was a shortage of personal protective equipment for the general public, especially face masks. As the pandemic continued to make its way through countless nations, the need for PPE became much more dire and apparent. For businesses, this was especially true for workers who worked in close proximity to each other. Equipping their contractors/employees with the necessary gear to prevent the spread of disease meant success for businesses, but the conversation didn’t stop there. Using the learnings from the PPE shortage, companies began to place a wider emphasis on the use of PPE at the workplace in general. In 2023, it is expected that organizations will become much more comprehensive about the use of personal protective equipment. For example, more businesses will opt for custom, tailored PPE to ensure that their workers are comfortable on the job, in turn increasing compliance.
Supply Chain Management:
In the last few years, the world collectively suffered a global supply chain disruption which directly affected businesses and consumers. For businesses, it meant missing resources, major delays in production, and decreased workforce productivity. In other words, your business’ health is closely correlated to the efficacy of your supply chain. Should it fall short, so will your business. Businesses know this, so they’ve already begun implementing responses to slate supply issues in order to mitigate any further complications. Whether it meant scaling back certain operations or placing orders ahead of time to prevent backlogs, organizations around the world are keen on upkeeping the structural integrity of their business.
Going into the new year, expect a renewed approach to supply chain management, one that directly addresses the inefficiencies uncovered in the last few years. Supply chain management software is already a widely used tool for many companies, but the climate of the new year may encourage even further adoption of such technologies. Software developers are tasked with the role of pushing the envelope of what their tools could do and how efficiently they can tackle the common challenges that companies face.
Planning & Visibility:
Many of the frustrations associated with the supply chain issues this year stemmed primarily from a lack of control. Companies were unable to control or oversee their supply lifecycle due to the constant disruptions that occurred. What companies will value most in the coming year is the ability to control the effects of their supply chain and have a constant, clear depiction of how everything is going.
As the past few years have been, 2023 is expected to be an eventful twelve months for contractor and safety management. The industry wide disruptions that businesses have experienced in the last few years will shape the trends of the new year and continue to push the boundaries of how businesses can further advance their management processes.
Are you and your contractors ready to take on the new year and reach new (safe) heights? Speak to one of our compliance experts today to learn more about how our tool helps you better manage your contractors.