Selecting and working with contractors
Anyone working on your site who is not your direct employee qualifies as a contractor. The benefits of using contractors are numerous. The biggest reasons are that you can offer additional services when bidding on a project and you can take on projects that would otherwise be beyond the capability of your current business.
Choose your contracting teams carefully. Clearly define the project requirements and review proposals to find the firm best equipped to meet your needs and work well with your team. Ask contracting companies to document their safety and health policies. These documents reveal important information about how the contractor operates and incorporates procedures to protect their employees.
Make sure to ask lots of questions about the contractor’s previous experience, the training and skill level of their employees, and how they plan to supervise their on site team. Beware of companies that don’t give clear answers or cannot provide detailed documentation. These steps will help you identify firms that are organised and reputable.
Communication is key
Many studies have shown that accidents are more likely to occur when teams don’t communicate. As the site manager, it becomes your responsibility to make sure that everyone has been informed of safety risks, potential hazards, and rules and regulations that must be followed on site.
Outside contractors will need to be briefed on your safety procedures and rules, any special equipment they’ll need, and most importantly how to behave in the case of an emergency or accident. Make sure everyone on the team knows how to sound the alarm if something goes wrong and the chain of command for reporting problems and issues.
Before beginning work, an employer is required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSW) to conduct a risk assessment. The goal is to identify potential hazards on the site and look for ways that workers might be harmed.
Once you’ve completed this assessment, review it with your team to see if measures can be taken to lessen identified risks. This may involve altering policies, additional worker training, or establishing additional emergency procedures.
The MHSW also requires contractors to prepare a risk assessment for their portion of the work. Their report provides you with additional information and becomes part of your overall site assessment. Based on their assessment, the contracting manager should provide you with a detailed plan explaining the work involved and the safety measures they’ll need to control risks.
Establish clear procedures for every contractor on your job site. They should all sign in when arriving and sign out when leaving the site. This simple step makes sure everyone is accounted for in case of an emergency. Designate a site contact, typically the contracting manager, who is responsible for communicating information to the contracting team.
Make sure that contractors are aware of and follow your safety and health procedures. You should provide this information in writing to the contracting firm before the project begins, but reiterate the rules to the onsite team.
Working with contractors is a result of careful planning. By choosing the best firm, communicating frequently, and always working to mitigate risks, you’ll have a team that works safely and well together to complete a successful final project.
To reduce the security risks of your project, get in touch with UK Roller Shutters today by calling 01384 221743 or contact us online.