The complex nature of supply chains poses significant risks to businesses. Many factors impact safety outcomes, particularly for smaller companies, sub-contractors and labour-hire workers doing the work.
Leadership plays a critical role in championing improved health and safety and driving a strong safety culture. Rather than meeting a ‘bare minimum’ requirement, adopting a safety-first culture will help you to consistently exceed requirements.
Why a positive health and safety culture is beneficial to supply chain management
Within supply chains, there are always challenges surrounding moving products or services from supplier to buyer.
Health and safety must be a focus of attention for leaders and compliance managers to minimise risks and ensure contractors and suppliers in your supply chain commit to a common culture of safety workforce management systems.
WHS Regulations state that “…anyone conducting a business or undertaking must so far as is reasonably practicable protect their workers and others who may be affected by their work. Importantly others may include workers in other businesses in their supply chains.”
Developments in technology, variations in economic situations, and the increasing flexibility of independent contractors all contribute to potential health and safety concerns.
The most common areas for concern in terms of supply chain health and safety include issues from warehousing and logistics, such as:
- forklift and truck movements
- falling objects
- shelf collapses
- toxic chemicals
- muscle strain
- heavy machinery
- slips, trips, or falls
- environmental issues (e.g., heat stroke)
Each of these incidents introduces several costly factors: lost time on the job, workers’ compensation, potential litigation, and unplanned downtime in the case of damaged assets. The occasional forklift accident can lead to damaged products, which can set processes back multiple days.
The good news is that when people within a supply chain act cooperatively, they can exert greater influence on health and safety than when acting alone. This is why it’s so important for leadership to take a holistic approach by:
- Assessing all design elements of the work chain – this can help to minimise hazards and risks across the board
- Ensure the highest level of protection is given to workers – this can lead to improvements in quality, safety, risk, and productivity
- Working closely with others across the supply chain – this can ensure everyone involved understands each other’s needs to improve both the health and safety of workers and organisational performance
- Be clear about contractors and suppliers adopting your safety culture – this helps to create a ‘safety first’ approach
- Implementing a contractor management system – a software system that helps to manage all aspects of contractor and supplier compliance, safety, and risk management
Contractor Risk Assessment Checklist
Download our free Contractor Risk Assessment Checklist to help you assess and improve risk controls for new contractors and suppliers.
Benefits of an integrated contractor management system
Contractor management systems help businesses of all shapes and sizes manage outsourced work. Depending on the type of system your business uses, you can enjoy a more efficient and centralised contractor lifecycle management setup by employing an integrated contractor management system.
Rapid Global provides a unique offering for supplier management. Rapid’s fully integrated, modular workforce management software provides a comprehensive set of tools that offers many benefits.
5 top benefits include:
- Efficiently onboard and manage your contractors
- Create efficiencies through automation of contractor and supplier compliance
- Centralise your data storage online
- Reduce costs through the ability to conduct integrated audits and assessments, as well as optimise processes and resources
- Fully integrated tools that scale up as you add new sites, and or your contactor workforce grows
Rapid Global offers a centralised platform to manage contractors and ensure workplace compliance 24/7. Rapid’s software offers an intuitive dashboard that’s easy to use on any device and it’s perfect for companies of any size that engage contractors.
How to ensure contractors and suppliers adopt your safety culture
If leaders want to ensure contractors and suppliers adopt your safety culture, and therefore help promote and continue a ‘safety first’ approach, these tips will help:
Before you begin working with a contractor or supplier, ensure they comply with your safety, quality, and ethical standards. Rapid Contractor Manager delivers consistency of engagement and the ‘peace of mind’ that every supplier you engage is pre-qualified in the Rapid contractor management system. This helps to identify non-compliant contractors and reduce workplace health and safety risks.
Training and site inductions
Having workers who are competent to perform their everyday roles with an understanding of the health and safety impacts, is a critical component in implementing an effective health and safety system. A centralised induction and training system like Rapid Induct can streamline contractor onboarding processes. The online system enables contractors to complete their inductions before they arrive on your site.
It’s essential to keep track of the job. Depending on the job, monitoring might include daily checklists, pre-shift safety talks and weekly walk-through inspections. A solution like Rapid Access provides a single dashboard to monitor all site visitors and can help ensure only inducted and licensed contractors and suppliers can enter your sites.
Ensure there is a procedure in place for contractors to submit safety observations and report unsafe conditions. An incident reporting system like Rapid Incident Reporting allows quick visibility of all incidents, real-time access, and alerts. The system allows you to customise incident classification levels to align with your organisation’s risk framework.
Review the quality of work completed. Were there any safety issues to determine the contractor’s eligibility for future contracts? Rapid Auditor can save your business time by automating your audit management processes.
Take a crucial step towards making your workplace safer
Some of the world’s most successful organisations are already engaging with the best contractors and suppliers, improving safety performance, streamlining their processes and most importantly, making workplaces for everyone a safer place. Are you ready to join them?
Speak to our experts about Rapid’s fully integrated and modular workforce management software. Request a free demonstration.