Safetip #42: General Contractors and Subcontractor Safety
Ask Contractors to Hire Subcontractors and Manage Their Safety
A research paper by the National Safety Council’s Campbell Institute highlights best practices of 14 world-class organizations in EHS around the management of contractor and supplier safety. The white paper indicates a majority of organizations (10 out of 14) that participated in the research put the general contractor in charge of hiring subcontractors and managing their safety. Under these situations, subcontractors are held to the same standards as general contractors, but it is the general contractor’s responsibility to apply those standards. According to the white paper, this responsibility provides an additional reason for companies to be diligent about hiring reliable and accountable general contractors from the start.
For one of the research participants, one part of the pre-qualification process for contractors is to evaluate their standards and procedures for qualifying subcontractors. Other participants require subcontractors to meet the same requirements as all other contractors on site. Finally, one participant mentioned that contractors are required to prepare and submit in advance of work a hazard analysis for the tasks they control. This requirement is communicated through the subcontractor procurement process. General contractors choose subcontractors and are responsible for ensuring that subcontractors meet the process requirements, the white paper says.
Here are links to additional Safetips on contractor safety:
- Use Third-Party Firms to Prequalify Contractors
- Assess Contractors on Their Safety Statistics
- Evaluate Contractors by Assigning Grades
- Evaluate the Risk of Contractor Work to be Performed
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