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How to Prevent Contractor Accidents, Part 2

In Part 1 of the story, we explained how this situation can create unforeseen hazards not just to the outside workers but to your own personnel. We also saw that the host company can be liable for resulting injuries by dint of its control over the workplace.

Let's now look at how to manage these risks.

Monitoring Contractor Workers
One of the keys to managing contractor risks is to know at any given time which contractors are at your site and what kind of work they're doing. This might sound obvious but it's often overlooked. This is particularly true at companies that have a large workforce and a workplace spread out over a large physical area.

This involves creating a special form called an outside contractor notification form.

How to Create Form
The contractor notification form is simple and straightforward. It's a one-page checklist of key information about each contractor the company is working with. You should make sure that your version lists all the information necessary to track the contractor, like:

The contractor's name;
The name of a designated supervisor or other person from your site who's responsible for the contractor while it's on site (and for filling out the form);
The supervisor from the contractor's staff in charge of the contractor's workers on site (and who serves as your contact person at the site);
Whether the contractor has met the requirements of your safety program;
How many workers are on site;
Whether those workers have been oriented to your safety program;
The names of any subcontractors to be used;
A brief description of the work to be done; and
The start and finish date of the work.
How To Use Form

It is recommended designating one person, like your safety manager, to make sure all contractors meet the company's safety requirements before beginning work at the site. Then the supervisor responsible for a particular contractor should fill out the form before work begins verifying that all requirements have been met. That supervisor should send a copy of the completed form to senior managers, purchasing and the departments where work is to be done. Keep the form in a central location where key personnel at your site can get access to it.

To manage contractor risks, companies must take measures ranging from contractor selection to orientation and oversight of contract work. Monitoring the comings-and-goings of contractor personnel is just one part of the process. But while it won't solve all of your problems, monitoring contractor whereabouts is integral to the success of a company's risk management efforts.