Workplace injuries and fatalities are all too common but not talked about enough. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2020 alone, the rate of injury was 2.7 per 100 workers. This figure is composed of nonfatal injuries that have resulted in time off work, transfers, and job restrictions, causing major disruption to business operations. No matter what line of work your organization is in, you will naturally and inevitably run the risk of potential workplace injuries. Whether it is a mild injury or something more serious like a fatality, it is your responsibility as a safety professional to conduct due diligence and ensure that you have a response plan in place. Such incidents can slow down productivity, increase liability, and strain business resources. Fortunately, having the right contractor management strategy on hand can help you ensure that your response plan is implementable and ready to spring into action when needed. With that said, an efficient plan prioritizes proactive prevention to ensure incidents do not reach a state in which they begin negatively affecting business operations. There are measures you can take to prevent workplace injuries both on and off the worksite, as well as measures taken during and prior to work commencing. These measures are to be practiced by a business entity as a whole, trickling down into every specialized role in the organization in order to ensure collective safety.
Contractor qualification is the first, and arguably one of the most important tasks in mitigating potential incidents. For a more detailed rundown, check out this informative article here. qualification is the first step in ensuring that you do not externally bring on any un-assumed risk. The many defining factors of contractor qualification help an organization appropriately prepare qualified contractors before they begin operations on-site by briefing them on safety practices, expectations in the conduct of work, and specialized training.
Contractor management software can help by automating the qualification process, allowing only validated and compliant vendors to move onto the onboarding stage. What does this look like when put into practice? Automated qualification makes decisions based on a set of determining prerequisites that contractors are expected to meet prior to onboarding. This screening process acts as the first line of defense by presenting EHS managers with an extensive view on what their options are when attempting to source the safest and most efficient third-party vendors for a specific project. This method not only provides employers with a safety first approach, it also saves time and money while simultaneously increasing productivity.
Auditing your supply chain and the materials it brings in is often an overlooked strategy in risk reduction. However, it is an important step in the process to safeguard your business against any potential issues that can be brought on externally. This is a multistep process that assesses where your tools, equipment, and materials are coming from, as well as the standard of quality they are at, and any potential issues that may be associated with them. In the context of minimizing risk and reducing the likelihood of workplace injuries, a supplier audit can prove beneficial in the following three primary scenarios:
1. You are assessing the validity of the tools and equipment you use:
- Ensuring that all of your tools are up-to-date.
- Ensuring that the build, purpose, and effectiveness of your materials comply with state standards.
- Ensuring that your tools and equipment did not come with any flaws, faults, or missing parts.
2. You are assessing the reputation of the suppliers within your supply chain:
- Ensuring that all of your suppliers are compliant with safety standards.
- Ensuring that your suppliers do not have a track record of noncompliance.
- Ensuring that your suppliers have a reputation for reliability, safety, and quality assurance.
3. Your assessing your supply chain’s response to support:
- In an event where a material, tool, or equipment is faulty, needs maintenance, or otherwise requires attention, you must ensure that those responsible within your supply chain offer a prompt response in order to resolve the issue at hand.
- Ensuring that suppliers have replacements or solutions on hand to ensure little to no disruptions to business operations.
- Ensuring that suppliers follow appropriate health and safety guidelines when manufacturing products utilized in your supply chain.
Periodic risk assessments can provide an encompassing solution that assesses all aspects of business operations that may pose the risk of injury to an organization. Conducting these on a consistent basis allows organizations to find safety gaps in different areas such as prequalification, the validity of on-site equipment, and general safety procedures. Not only can risk assessments measure changing levels of risk overtime, but they are also useful in uncovering potential hazards that otherwise may have gone unnoticed. Having access to such actionable insights allows you to pivot your strategy where needed and more accurately distribute the responsibilities of safety management throughout the organization.
Contractor Management Software
If you haven’t noticed yet, the common underlying theme of all these strategies put an emphasis on the proactive prevention of workplace injury, rather than an action plan for when they do happen. After all, prevention is the best cure. A digital solution to contractor management can act as an all-inclusive solution to mitigate potential workplace injury. Digital contractor management solutions will allow you to visualize your strategy and enable you to make further progress in ensuring that your worksite is a safe space to operate in. If you have been thinking about going digital, Contractor Compliance offers an all-in-one solution at absolutely no cost to hiring organizations. With an intuitive platform jam-packed with powerful insights, Contractor Compliance enables organizations to effectively manage and reduce risk while simultaneously achieving compliance in as little as two weeks after implementation. This is all possible with the extensive support of compliance experts that are there to guide organizations through every step from onboarding, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Are you ready to transform your contractor management strategy for the better? Book a demo to see it in action today!