How Do You Choose the Right Contractor?
To reduce workplace incidents and accidents and keep production and workflow moving smoothly, it is critical that your contractors and suppliers understand your health and safety policies and follow them exactly as required.
You have the right to expect that your contractors will follow your safety policies and procedures and you rely on them to follow the guidelines but, how and how often, do you actually verify compliance? Perhaps the contractors are trying to finish the job faster — possibly by disregarding some safety policies along the way. Without policy enforcement, the risk for increased injuries, production failures, penalties for noncompliance, and even lawsuits may result from employee injury.
Undoubtedly, your contractors work hard and try to do what’s right — but their idea of what’s right might not be in line with your safety requirements.
Best Practices for Choosing Your Contractors
- Always choose the right contractor for the job. Make sure the contractor is qualified and insured (WSIB Clearance). Having proper qualifications such as certificates/licences and insurance demonstrates a contractor's credibility and knowledge. If a contractor doesn't have insurance and a worker gets hurt on your project, you could be liable.
- Thoroughly qualify your contractor. Find out what they know to identify their specific industry or service capabilities, including skills, training, and the Best Practices they have in place. Best Practices should always include health and safety! Then you can better assess whether or not they meet your requirements to operate safely on your project. Your own best practices will always include hiring only those contractors who can prove their health and safety performance and policies.
- Use third-party, on-site audits to ensure policy enforcement. One of the best ways to verify that your contractors and suppliers follow required health and safety policies is through validated third-party audits. Look for experienced partners that can provide third-party, on-site audits to ensure your contractors and suppliers review your policies, understand them, and abide by all regulations.
- Verify the correct safety standards, guidelines and regulations for your organization’s projects. It is important to have the right people available at the right time for any given job. When you engage highly rated contractors, you know those contractors are well-trained, productive workers who will follow best practices and promote a safe, healthy work environment.
- Have a Contractor Agreement in place. Contracts provide a clear description of contractor health and safety responsibilities. A clearly written contract leaves little room for misinterpretation, protects your interests and decreases your liability. It simply makes good business sense.
WSG is proud to have been a third-party auditor when the new St. Catharine’s General Hospital was being built and has audited several other industries in Niagara over the last few years.
While we are exceptional at helping companies build their health and safety programs from the ground up, we are professional Deficiency Specialists when organizations find themselves in need of short term and time sensitive solutions to their programs.