Contract workers are expected to constitute nearly 50% of the workforce in the next decade, with one in every five jobs expected to be performed by them in the United States. These contract workers will come from different backgrounds and skill levels, making it challenging for employers to assess each contractor before employing them.
From a health and safety perspective, it is critical to building in safety mechanisms to ensure there are no safety lapses when it comes to tasks performed by contractors. OSHA also points out that companies must take a proactive approach to risk management when it comes to contractor safety.
Businesses need a robust contractor safety program to ensure both contractor safety and the quality of the job done. The contractors may be proficient in the job, in fact, the work is outsourced to them because of their specialization in a specific area like welding. Despite this, OSHA makes it necessary for the employer to ensure that the worker, including a contract worker, is aware of the risks and has sufficient proficiency in managing the risks. The worker should be provided with the necessary PPE and tools, the workplace made safe, and permit-to-work provided to ensure safety. The risks and controls must be communicated clearly.
But here comes another factor that often renders this communication useless. Contractors may further subcontract the work to another agency. While the employer may have given the lead contractor the necessary safety information, this may not get passed on to the subcontractor. Typically, contract workers move from job to job, site to site, and may not have the time or inclination to undergo training or peruse any safety information, which can also put them at risk.
Safety Management is an ongoing process, needing an inflow of data and constant monitoring for continual improvement. This is challenging without automation and integration of the safety management system with other enterprise systems such as HRMS, EQMS, and ERP solutions.
Onboarding of contractors can be automated using a comprehensive app that collects details and helps to create and maintain a potential list of contractors. This will save time when trying to look for an alternative contractor, as all the necessary information is available at your fingertips.
Reviews and approvals, documentation, training, risk assessments, and permit-to-work are some of the other functions that can also be digitized and automated, helping to improve compliance in a cost and time-effective manner.
In this whitepaper, we talk about:
- Common challenges related to contract worker safety
- The three pillars of workplace safety
- Tracking both lagging and leading indicators
- Streamlining contractor safety processes and workflows using a modern EHS software system
- And more