Contractor management simplified: 5 ways to reduce contractor risk

Article by Achilles

One of the main benefits of using contractors is the flexibility it offers employers. Contractor management solutions need to be flexible too, making it simple for companies to obtain, validate and update the contractor information they need.

Health and safety is still a significant issue for companies that rely on the use of contractors. While injuries to both employees and contractors have fallen over the last 35 years, our research shows that contractors are still twice as likely to be involved in an accident.

Our extensive of health and safety and supply chain management experience, together with Achilles’ unrivalled insight and analysis, enable us to provide up to date, fully validated information on contractor personnel (training, certification, payroll and contracts) and equipment (including maintenance records and insurance details).

Here are our top five methods of reducing contractor risk.

Keep track of every single contractor

While the majority of contractors and equipment on your site are likely to cause no problems, there is still a minority that can present a risk if not monitored and managed. Our BuidingConfidence Community data shows that 12% of the machinery used across projects does not have a safety certificate. Similarly, 22% of companies in that community who currently use subcontractors do not have a mechanism in place for the regular monitoring of the insurance, licenses and professional memberships of their subcontractors.

The Achilles Controlar solution helps you make sure your subcontractors are always adding value rather than risk to your operations. We offer a fully managed workplace health and safety service that gives you the tools to oversee your people, processes and equipment to reduce contractor risk.

Get an independent, expert opinion

Audits are an indispensable tool when it comes to managing contractor risk and costs while ensuring compliance throughout your operations. It gives you confidence that you are not only meeting your legal requirements but that your health and safety processes are being communicated and understood. This is especially important when it comes to contractors, who are often engaged to do specialist and risky jobs and may not be as fully briefed on safety policies and procedures as full-time employees.

We have used our extensive experience of working with companies that rely on contractors to create an HSE Audit process that is standardised, specialised and tailored to the needs of a specific company or sector.

Talk to the people on the ground

We help employers achieve the highest level of rigour when it comes to their code of conduct, corporate social responsibility and modern slavery statements. We do this by interviewing workers across your sites. Our Labour Practices Audit provides companies with the greatest level of oversight into how their labour practices are being practised on the ground day to day.

Our data shows that a lack of visibility can expose employers to significant contractor risks. In 2019, across 29 audited construction sites and over 1,000 interviewed workers, our Labour Practices Auditors found 19 instances of discrimination, 51 examples of physical or verbal abuse and 183 workers without the correct documentation to carry out the work they were doing. All of this represents a serious level of risk for employers.

Go digital

Digital solutions simplify supply chain management by allowing you to monitor all of the equipment used by your suppliers across all project operations. OnSite Plant is a single cloud-based system that replaces outdated paper-based processes and makes health and safety management simpler, faster and more efficient.

There are multiple ways this solution has benefitted UK construction companies. Addressing worker fatigue and limiting excessive hours has reduced annual fatalities across Achilles registered suppliers. Higher quality inventory control has also helped companies limit the amount of equipment and tools lost through poor asset monitoring and tracking, which better protects margins.

Turn your data into a strategic asset

Up-to-date, clean and verifiable data is an important part of making sure your contractors are working in the best way. Our OnSite Workforce management solution captures all the data you need. By providing employers with real-time web-based reports and records, we reduce the administrative burden of record-keeping and help companies use their contractor data as a strategic asset to drive better decision making.

Risk reduction that works for everyone

Contractors are a hugely beneficial source of expertise, insight and specialist skills for companies across the UK, but they also present a management challenge for employers. By making use of the right tools, companies can make sure they maximise the benefits while ensuring contractor risks are managed effectively and safely for everyone involved.



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