Managing Contractors

Contractors are used widely in the workplace, either to deliver a specific project or skill to deliver extra labour when needed. For example, a site wanting to extend the premises would usually take on a building contractor to deliver the project rather than employing manpower directly.

Contractors are engaged by clients in lots of different circumstances at work. A contractor may be engaged to perform a one-off service, such as the refitting of an IT suite, or they may be engaged on a more permanent basis to provide in house catering or cleaning services.

It is not in the interest of good standards and strong quality and environmental management for the client to ignore the impacts associated with the contractors work or for the contractor to ignore the impacts inherent in the client’s workplace.

ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Clause 8.4 “Control of Externally Provided Processes, Products and Services” covers contractors.

Contractor Management

The way that a client manages contractors can be broken down into three key areas:

  • Selecting the contractor.
  • Planning the work.
  • Monitoring the work.

Let’s take a look into what the three of the above points involve:

Selecting the Contractor

It is good practice to select a contractor carefully on the basis of their quality, environmental or health and safety competence. To assist you, you should be requesting a copy of the following:

  • Quality/environmental/health and safety policy statements.
  • Example of impact assessments.
  • Their qualifications and training records of staff.
  • Membership of a professional organisation or certified body.
  • Records of maintenance and testing for plant and equipment.
  • Accident history records.
  • Proof of adequate resources.
  • Proof of adequate insurance.
  • Customer feedback

Planning the Work

Information must be exchanged between the client and contractor. The client needs to communicate to the contractor about the impacts in the workplace. The contractor needs to communicate to the client the impacts created by the contract work. In this way, the work can be planned so that any risks (such as environmental incidents) are reduced. The contractor should carry out environmental and health and safety risk assessments on the work involved and develop operational controls to control the impacts identified. Operations controls must be documented (for communication and awareness) and are often referred to as a “method statement”.

Monitoring the Work

The client must make arrangements to ensure the contractor complies with agreed working practices. These arrangements should include:

  • Having a signing in and out procedure.
  • Ensuring that the contractor provides a named works foreman.
  • Carrying out site induction training for all contractor workers.
  • Controlling high risk activities with a permit to work system.

The client will need to monitor the contractors work to ensure that the contractor is working to agreed standards. This area is subject to internal audits.

Contractors Responsibilities

Contractors are responsible for their own environmental impacts. They must also ensure that:

  • They do not create significant environmental impacts for their client from the work that they undertake.
  • Third parties are not significantly affected by the work that they do. For example, when carrying out construction work, noise, dust and other nuisance issues should be controlled such that they do not impact on residents of housing in close proximity to the site.

For all your consultancy needs, contact Dynamik Management Services Ltd to receive your free no obligation quotation.