- Posted by Chaker Khabbaz
- On 16/10/2020
Trades businesses often engage with contractors to assist with particular jobs like construction work or plumbing. These contractors work on site, manage dozens of employees, and operate heavy equipment to make sure projects are completed according to your standards.
However, there are plenty of health and safety risks involved in a contractor’s job. Accidents like falling from heights, chemical contamination, and back injuries are all possibilities unless you take stringent measures to mitigate workplace risks. Fortunately, powerful contractor compliance platforms like WorkBuddy are loaded with features that keep Australian contractors and tradies safe. Here’s what these platforms can do.
Custom site inspection checklists
In the past, trades businesses had to create inspection forms for different jobs from scratch, but this is extremely inefficient. Not only is the entire process time-consuming, but contractors can easily lose track of the health and safety protocols specific to each job.
Leading contractor compliance platforms fix these problems by establishing a structured routine to workplace risk assessments. More specifically, businesses can instantly create inspection forms modelled after official safe work method statements (SWMS) to proactively identify work-related hazards.
These inspection forms are delivered to contractors electronically and are easy to customise based on the job. For example, an SWMS inspection form for high-risk construction jobs prompts contractors to check for asbestos, falling hazards, and traffic conditions. Conversely, concrete contractors may also need to complete additional inspections for wet concrete, cement dust, and unstable steel fixtures. Workers won’t be able to start and complete jobs in the system unless contractors have conducted all the necessary checks and addressed any potential liabilities. This goes a long way in ensuring the health and safety of any individual working on site.
Contractor selection and induction
Most health and safety issues can be avoided by selecting contractors and workers who possess the right skills and qualifications for the job. After all, a contractor whose expertise lies in exterior home renovations probably won’t be familiar with safety practices specific to plumbing or HVAC installations.
Contractor compliance platforms simplify the selection process by consolidating key contractor information in a centralised repository. This information includes active contractor projects, previous safety performance evaluations, certifications, and employee records. With a comprehensive view into everyone’s expertise, you can easily discern which contractors and workers are best suited to handle a job safely.
You can then send out pre-qualification surveys that contractors and workers must complete before arriving at the job site. These surveys ask contractors for safety training certificates, trade licenses, and appropriate insurance coverage like public liability and workers compensation. By conducting these surveys, you have documented proof that contractors are fully aware of legal requirements and safe work protocols.
Technician and contractor portals
Compliance platforms provide portals where on-site contractors and workers can communicate with one another. Technician portals are the place where workers get detailed safety guidelines when undertaking specific jobs. For instance, a technician working for an HVAC contractor will see SWMS-configured instructions on safely handling refrigerant contaminants and electrical circuits. Additionally, technician portals allow tradies to directly update contractors on work progress and share visual evidence of adherence to safe work procedures.
Meanwhile, contractor portals enable contractors to track employee performance and observe potentially risky behaviours. This portal gives contractors a top-down view of their overall compliance levels.
The best contractor compliance platforms make it easy for on-site workers to log incidents and injuries. They come with custom event forms where users can provide details on the incident, attach relevant photos, and classify the severity of the case. From there, any reported cases are automatically escalated to contractors and supervisors so they can quickly take corrective action.
These reports are also crucial for incident investigations and root cause analyses. Contractors can distill detailed insights into each incident to identify prevailing hazards and risky work practices. This also enables them to make meaningful improvements to work procedures, risk assessments, and site management protocols to prevent similar incidents from occurring again.
To make sure everyone on site adheres to safe work procedures, contractor compliance platforms enable businesses to send automated notifications. These notifications can be programmed to alert contractors of potential hazards, unfinished pre-qualification surveys, and other potential hazards. They’re also especially useful for reminding contractors of pending risk assessment forms and any critical changes in compliance requirements.
What’s more, contractor compliance platforms help contractors and their workers stay on top of safety procedures. Simple reminders on using machinery properly, wearing personal protective equipment, and applying sunscreen dramatically reduce the risk of serious injuries.
If you’re looking for a contractor compliance platform with all these capabilities, WorkBuddy is the solution. Our full-featured compliance module simplifies contractor management and risk assessments. WorkBuddy also provides full visibility of jobs, incidents, and safety procedures, so you can keep health and safety risks to a minimum. Request a demo today to learn more about WorkBuddy’s compliance features.