No matter which industry you work in, you are inevitably going to work around subcontractors or vendors quite often. The services of other companies are necessary to move work forward. Like any new addition or change in a workplace, subcontractors can create many hazards for everyone working there. It is important to consider what hazards are created when utilising subcontractors and how you can mitigate the hazards.
Any amount of new work tasks, no matter how small, will create new hazards in the workplace for the employees who work there everyday. The actual work tasks being completed by the subcontractor, along with what tasks are already being carried out at the workplace, will determine the specific hazards that need to be addressed.
The workers of the subcontractor could also be put in danger by the work that your company is completing.
Subcontractors are often not familiar with the work site as a whole or the specific work processes occurring at the workplace they are working in. Unfamiliarity of a work environment can make work more dangerous.
Meet with the subcontractor prior to work beginning for the day to discuss work plans.
Communicate your team’s scope of work, the hazards created by the work you are doing, along with the controls that need to be implemented and followed in order to mitigate those hazards.
Ask the subcontractor for their scope of work as well as their plan to mitigate the hazards of their work.
Establish work areas for each team and outline walking paths if necessary.
Schedule or work around each other’s work tasks when possible to avoid taking unnecessary risks.
Continue to keep open communication between each work team affected by the subcontractor’s scope of work each day as well as the entirety of the project.
Speak up to a supervisor if the subcontractor’s employees are not following site-specific safety rules or procedures.
Always stop work whenever a hazard is created that could injure anyone in that work area.
Even if they are an outstanding company with an excellent safety record, the mere fact that they are completing additional work in your workplace means new hazards will be present. Take the time up front to address work plans, concerns, hazards, mitigation actions etc to ensure the job goes smoothly. If conditions change where people are at risk for injury or property can be damaged, always stop work to get the situation corrected before proceeding.
Our team are available if you require assistance with contractor management.