Safetip #90: 4 Key Elements of a Contractor Management System

August 02, 2017

This week’s Safetip is about contractor safety and four key elements that every contractor management system should cover.

The Ministry of Labour of the Canadian province of Alberta published an occupational safety and health handbook on Supervisor Roles and Responsibilities. The handbook says that a strong contractor management system makes the supervision of contractors easier. It can limit safety and health issues by establishing consistent procedures, and defining clear roles and expectations for everyone. This is especially pertinent because the safety performance of contractors has a direct impact on the safety performance of the contracting firm.

The handbook lists the following key elements that every contractor management system should cover, and why:

1) A Contractor’s Safety and Health Program and Performance History

Including this as part of the pre-qualification process for contractors sends a clear message that safety and health is a priority on your employer’s work sites. Contractors should provide documentation up front that defines their safety and health practices, verifies they have the appropriate training and insurance coverage, and testifies to their past safety and health performance/lessons learned.

2) Contractor Safety Orientations

This is about setting contractors up for success at your job site. These orientations should fulfill any applicable legal requirement to communicate expectations, working conditions and hazards at the work site. They should cover the rules, safe work procedures, reporting requirements and emergency action plans that contractors are expected to follow.

3) On-Site Supervision

Keeps workers aware of and accountable for safety and health on the job by ensuring that regular inspections, hazard assessments, planned safety talks and formal reporting procedures are completed. It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure legislation and site-specific rules are followed.

4) End of Contract Debrief

This feedback session creates the opportunity to improve on existing safe and healthy work practices, and strengthen the contractor management system moving forward.

Finally, consider the implementation of a contractor safety software solution to gain visibility over all contractors and contract works, and analyze incidents where contractors are involved. The software system can also benchmark contractor safety performance against industry peers to identify contractors with the best safety performance.

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