- Solidifying your contractor management practices help in keeping your organization and workforce safe.
- As the hiring organization it is your duty to face compliance challenges head on, using tools to create a steadfast safety program.
- Define what your onboarding process looks like and how you plan to prequalify your contractors.
- Use relevant data to make impactful decisions that can help improve your compliance workflows.
- Automate key tasks where you can in an effort to save money, resources, and cut down on administrative time.
- Ensure that your plan accounts for the future, and that you plan ahead for any unforeseeable circumstances.
- Make an effort to reflect on the performance of your safety program in order to adjust it to better suit your organization and its workers.
Contractor Management System:
It goes without saying that hiring an external workforce to complete projects in your organization can afford you numerous benefits such as lower operating costs, better project flexibility, and the access to in-demand skills. But with these benefits comes a responsibility to safeguard your organization and its contractors from danger in the workplace. While the world adapts to new and reformed ways of thinking of safety, organizations must follow suit.
Contractor management is a fluid and evolving process that requires time, resources, and effort in order to become a successful program. One of the leading causes of noncompliance and workplace incidents stem directly from the mismanagement of external workforces. If you plan to bring on third-parties to your worksite, ensure that you’ve taken on the responsibility of solidifying all aspects of your contractor management system and have accounted for any shortfalls that you must address.
In this article, we’ll detail a six-step action plan that teaches you how you can solidify your contractor management system so as to ensure sustained compliance and an overall upkeep of workplace safety.
Define Your Onboarding Process
Depending on your industry and the nature of work that you’re hiring for, your onboarding process will look different. Be sure that you outline what requirements are specific to your organization and how you plan on acquiring them from your prospective contractors. Furthermore, develop a timeline to keep you and your contractors on track so as to minimize any delays.
Perhaps one of the most crucial components of working with contractors is verifying that they’re okay to work with in the first place. This includes verifying that they have the required experience and certifications to complete the job asked of them, don’t have a history of significant incidents, and are fully compliant upon presenting at a job site.
Have Data At Hand
In EHS, data is key. An essential part of safety awareness is having accurate, informed data that’s readily available to all relevant parties. Having the necessary insight into your contractor management system helps you track compliance progress, mitigate risk before it arises, and make informed decisions to strengthen your program. This way, you’re able to run your own inspections to spot gaps in your safety strategy and rest assured that your organization remains in compliance.
Long gone are the days where you had to manually input contractor information, chase down individual workers for outstanding documents, or rack up administrative hours trying to pull relevant insights for a safety audit. With emerging digital solutions such as contractor management softwares, organizations are able to automate much of their workflows in order to preserve money and time. Furthermore, automating such tasks eliminates the potential for human delay and error, making your program accurate and efficient.
It is always great to possess an optimistic outlook on contractor safety. As someone dedicated to running a solid contractor management program, you should have faith that you’ll receive submissions in a timely manner, mitigate workplace hazards, and have spotless reports. But in reality, that’s often not the case. Simply put, safety professionals should always make a conscious effort to plan ahead and prepare for any potential obstacles along the way. A solid program is one that accounts for unexpected events and provides the flexibility to tend to such issues when needed.
After you’ve tirelessly dedicated your time and energy to creating a strong and sustainable program, you must also remember to reflect on your efforts and evaluate how you can continue to further solidify your safety strategy. Reflection is a process that comes in different stages of the contractor lifestyle, not just at the end. As a safety professional, you must be able to think on your feet and reflect in real time in order to make changes as you go. This skill will help you engage with your workforce to determine what needs adjusting, shut down potential hazards as they come, and further fine tune your workflows so they can work for you instead of against you.
Your contractor management system is the one thing holding your external workforce together. It keeps you and your workers accountable, proactive, and safe. As the host organization, it is your responsibility that you take the necessary steps to solidify your safety program and ensure compliance. To begin solidifying your process, outline and define your onboarding protocol, as well as the prequalification process that comes with it. Second, make sure that you and your team have all the relevant data you need to complete a project safely and efficiently, furthermore, automate key points of data processing such as document collection, prequalification, and safety audits to save yourself precious time that could be better spent on other company operations. Make it a point to always be ahead of the curve when it comes to worksite safety. Ensure that your program includes response plans that address how you will deal with unforeseen circumstances should they arise. Lastly, hone in on your ability to reflect on your contractor management system as a whole in order to make meaningful changes to your program that will help protect both your organization and the contractors that you choose to work with.