Contractor management can be a very difficult area of your business to manage. Your WHS obligations aren’t absolved because you engaged the services of a contractor, as legally contractors are regarded as workers. Recent cases such as Refrigerator Contractor falls to death show how easily it can go wrong and the importance of effective controls being in place.
A four-step approach can simplify how you manage contractors, so these suppliers feel part of the team and get on-board with safety in the workplace. The certainty should mean that “work as planned, equals the work as done” and everyone goes home safely!
Contractors must clearly understand what is required regarding safety while on site. Contractors can demonstrate how they will work safely with evidence of their:
- Insurances (certificates of currency for relevant policies)
- Competence (evidence of qualifications / licences required for the work)
- Safety Knowledge (shown in their safety procedures).
Less Friends, Better Friendships
If you have a pre-approved list of suppliers, you know who already has provided evidence of insurances, competence and safety knowledge. By using a smaller pool of approved contractors, you will induct less contractors and they become more familiar with the site, making it easier to manage their safety.
Fulfilling The Agreement
An agreement must be in place which is appropriate to the value of the services. This agreement ensures both parties fully meet their respective obligations as efficiently and effectively as possible, to continually deliver the operational objectives required by the contract or agreement. Contract terms and conditions should describe the Workplace Health and Safety and any other relevant requirements, such as adhering to Heavy Vehicle National Law.
Victual can provide training modules and forms to facilitate contractor inductions, so it is effective and efficient for both parties. This safety induction should be completed before the contractor commences work. The complexity of the contractor management process may depend on how a contractor is engaged, the type of work, where and under what circumstances the work is being conducted.
The safety knowledge and details in safety procedures provided by the contractor as part of the selection criteria, should reflect what is happening on site. Workers should occasionally do spot-checks to verify the procedures match practice. Victual can provide a form to guide you through this in an easy and efficient way. If something doesn’t quite match up, a friendly conversation to understand why will usually lead to better practices. It is important that brewery workers lead by example otherwise contractors can point out any double standards!
Non-conformance with the agreement
If a contractor breaches a safety or other requirement of the agreement, you will need to follow due process. This may include verbal conversation with the company on what occurred to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If you experience repeat breaches of an agreement, you may use a non-conformance form. This allows you to document how you are enforcing your safety requirements in a fair and firm way. This form should allow the contractor to reply to explain what they will do in future to prevent the breach reoccurring.
Available Tools and Resources
Training and awareness are critical to ensuring contractors are verified as competent and managed appropriately.
Please contact Victual today for a 10-minute chat about your contractor management needs.