As companies continue to outsource to contractors, the need to manage risks and potential liability resulting from work injuries on the part of these contractors also increases. The most effective way for companies to minimize their risk is to select safe contractors. This means that owners should award contracts only to contractors who have demonstrated that they can work "safely."
A company's individual needs must be assessed to begin building the program. Specifically, a company should consider several factors upon establishing a contractor management tool. These would include:
The need for hiring safe contractors
Cost/Time-for both the company and the contractors
Minimize accidents and lawsuits
As a brainstorming exercise please take some time and ask yourself each of the questions below about your current contractor management process. This will assist you in assessing possible needs or areas that can be approved upon.
Do we have contractors working for our company with either incomplete or no qualification at all?
Do we award our contracts solely by the "low bidder?" There are many companies that choose their contractors by using this method. While it may initially appear as a cost savings it is not always the case. One jobsite injury could end up costing substantially more that the savings initially secured for the project.
Does part of our qualification process include an office audit to verify implementation? This portion of the qualification process can be important in assessing whether contractors are actually implementing their programs.
Is our qualification process effectively preventing incidents? It is important to be able to track injuries and incidents that have occurred with your contractors so that you may have metrics to evaluate how you and the contractors are doing.
Do we have a program in place for re-evaluation of the contractors? Keep in mind that when you establish your program that you look down the road on how you will reevaluate the contractors and monitor their progress. Each year contractors have new OSHA statistics to provide you, new EMR and may have had other company changes or occurrences that you will want to be aware of.
Do we consistently update our audit program to meet all regulatory needs? i.e. Environmental. Since there may be numerous different aspects and exposures to working for you, it may be necessary to build in those risks into your evaluation process and have a process for keeping these updated.