Contractors represent one of your company’s greatest areas of risk. They may not fully understand your site layout and procedures, or the managers responsible. Equipment, machinery and methods may be unfamiliar, and if access on-site is not controlled properly, Contractors may even be a security risk too.
To compound the risk, in 2017 the Health and Safety Executive updated its regulations and put even more onus on companies’ Health and Safety procedures. It includes offences of contributing to ‘potential harm’ as well as actual harm to employees, contractors or visitors to a site. Fines range from £50 to £10m, including possible imprisonment for individuals ruled to be negligent.
There is therefore a considerable duty of care required to ensure Contractors are safe. Companies are also keen to continually improve their efficiency, minimising wasted time processing Contractors and ensuring they are properly prepared and planned for, well briefed and effectively hosted during their visit and job.
We work with sites that are ‘higher risk’ on a regular basis – they might be very security conscious, may have heavy industry and manufacturing processes on site, or have a high throughput of contractors daily.
Semieta Visitor Management software ensures clients know WHO they have coming to site WHEN, reporting to WHOM, IF their company has the correct policies, methods and insurances in place, and whether the contractor is competent to work in the manner required for the job. It provides a pre-registration function so Contractors can be processed before arrival on site; online induction; document upload; photo ID; Contractor rating features; incident reporting; emergency roll call; and document and insurance expiry alerts.
Below are some key areas from published HSE guidance that you as a Contractor manager or site manager might want to focus on. I hope it makes comfortable reading and that you can effectively demonstrate these responsibilities have been met. If not, perhaps Semieta Visitor can help you too…
· Be clear about the work you expect the contractor to do and think about the standards of competence that will be required
· Demonstrate the importance your organisation places on health and safety in the selection of contractors
· Allocate sufficient time and resources to the job - in planning, preparing and carrying out the task”
· Consider how the work will be managed and supervised before the work starts
· Obtain the contractor’s health and safety plans
· Hold a pre-start meeting to ensure co-ordination and communication - ensure that incorrect assumptions are not made. Will the contractor need a site induction before beginning work on your site?
· Include contractor’s activities in all inspections and checks
· Make sure everyone is competent to carry out the tasks and that contractors receive induction
· Share method statements or safe systems of work”
· Consider how the competence of the contractor will be verified:
· Can they demonstrate previous health and safety performance, eg references/pre-qualification questionnaire?
· Can they verify health and safety training?
· Can verification of licensing be obtained where required, eg Gas Safe registration?”
Source – selected guidance from HSE website.