Managing Contractors and Subcontractors - Verature

Here Is What You Need To Know About Managing Contractors and Subcontractors

Photo of contractors and subcontractors on site working.

Many organisations will be using a large and varied number of contractors for specialist tasks that sometimes often involve the most hazardous jobs, and include maintenance, repairs, installation, construction, and demolition or carrying out non-routine activities, where there is a greater potential for harm if their work is not effectively managed and their compliance is not approved.

To remove the risk of accidents and health and safety breaches, it is important to ensure that contractors are properly assured, inducted, and briefed to understand the major hazard risks associated with any work and activities on site in order for them to be able to work safely and to safeguard others.

We want to ensure your contractors and subcontractors can arrive safe, work safe and stay safe when they come to do work on your site, and we want you help you understand what you need to do as an employer and provide you with useful advice to make the workplace safer and so you can remain compliant to regulations and standards.


Why is it important to manage contractors and subcontractors?

As an employer, you have a legal requirement to ensure the health and safety of people at work on your site including contractors AND subcontractors. Preventing an incident can save you time, money and most importantly lives, and should be taken very seriously, instead of cutting corners.

If you think health and safety is expensive, try an accident!

Any type of accident and ill health can be costly to a company, as well detrimental to corporate reputation. You may have heard us, and many others say, “If you think safety is expensive, try an accident!”

By prioritising the safe maintenance of your contractors and subcontractors, you’ll be preventing the cost of an incident. So, what will an incident cost the business if you are not efficiently and effectively managing your contractor compliance and health and safety requirements?

  • Losses in production time, key workers, products, or equipment.
  • Cost in additional time to repair equipment.
  • Significant time loss to investigate the incident.
  • Loss of production as it will cost to repair damaged equipment and retrain.
  • Recovery can take many years and involve claims, such as compensation and legal penalties, costing thousands or even millions.
  • An increased cost in insurance premiums or cover being refused.
  • Ultimately, the health and safety of your employees and potentially members of the public could be affected by contractor accidents.

Who is responsible for contractor health and safety and managing compliance?

Simple put, you are. As an employer you need ensure, your employees, other people at work on your site – contractors and subcontractors – and members of the public who may be affected by any contractual work are safe.

With any high-risk work including Working at Heights, Construction Design and Management, Provision and Use of Work Equipment, it is important to have done your due diligence to collect all the relevant and appropriate documentation and certifications, review it and authorise it for the works to be carried out by your approved contractors. Employers with more than five employees must, have a written and update health and safety that is read and understand by those that attend site.

How can you reduce contractor risks?

With varied jobs taking place on site, contractors can be subjected to greater hazards and risks than your regular staff, as they are new to your business and your site.

Research has shown common causes of accidents to contractors to include, fatigue, distraction, complacency, pressure, lack of or incorrect resources, and a lack of teamwork, communication, and co-operation.

To ensure the safe maintenance of your contractors and subcontractors, the two “c’s” are key; communication and collaboration, it is important to work together and communicate clearly, these two simple things can help everyone to work safely.

Accidents with contractors can be caused by poor communication – when your staff don’t know there are contractors and subcontractors working nearby and when contractors do not know the dangers on site.

Accidents tend to happen more easily when:

  • The contractor’s job is excluded from your usual methods of safe working
  • If the hazards of their job have not been identified and steps have not been taken to minimise risks
  • If no one is around to make sure the contractor follows health and safety rules on site.

Contractors often work in unfamiliar settings so strong lines of communication are key throughout a job to ensure workers are aware of any hazards and feel comfortable in their working environment.

Ensure there is an induction process for contractors to help collate key information that the contractors need. The induction should include safe systems of work, site info and map, welfare facilities, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements, emergency procedures and key contacts.

Health and safety doesn’t start when the contractor arrives on site. You need to think about health and safety as soon as you know a job needs to be done. Contractor compliance starts with knowing exactly what your project involves and what you need from a contractor. You need to make sure you have a clear and detailed project plans and job requirements before work begins. Planning and assessing is vital in helping you choose the right contractor and communicating requirements and any hazards should be eliminated or minimised before work begins and safe systems of work should be put in place.

For more practical steps for working safely with your contractors, take a look at our other post “How to Boost Contractor Compliance in 5 Steps.”

How can you efficiently manage your contractors and subcontractors?

When you need to keep track of your key contractors and maintain their compliance, we want to help you relax, knowing Verature will do the chasing for you. We know a lot can happen in a day. If you haven’t got control of who comes on-site, or even if you have, but cannot quickly put your finger on evidence and audit – you need a system that can help with that, ensuring you stay compliant 24/7 all year around and that business can run smoothly.

Verature can help significantly, and quickly, by dealing with health and safety questionnaires, insurances, expiries and renewals, risk assessments, method statements, and the tracking of permits to work; helping you keep track of key contractors and save lots of time and paper chasing.

We have seen some amazing results from our Verature Systems. Verature Contractor Management System is a leading safe system of work for the management of your visitors, workers, contractors, and subcontractors. Automating your time-consuming contractor management processes with a straightforward, easy-to-use system to ensure contractors arrive safe, work safe and stay safe across your multiple locations.

“Our return-on-investment time was a few months and more importantly my team and I can sleep well at night.”

Alan Theaker, Health and Safety Manager, Coca-Cola

Align your contractors and subcontractors with your health and safety and compliance procedures minimise risk and empower your team to champion safety in the workplace.

Book a demo now to find out more about our Verature system.

Find out if you’re ready with our 
Verature Onboarding Kit

Not sure if Verature is right for you? We understand it’s not easy to make a decision on a new system, but that’s why we’ve created our Onboarding Kit to make that that process simple.

Check our package details

Find out no matter what package you choose, you’ll be getting the best features you need for you and your team so you can have continuous contractor compliance.

Make it your own

You’ll get to see and choose your customisation options, and check out the available add-ons and extras so the system is exactly what you want and need.

Quickly getting you started.

Keeping this guide with you, and working closely with us, we can walk you through each step so you can be completely up and running with your own Verature system.

Image of contractor compliance starter pack

It’s easy to get started.

Step 1

Book a demo of Verature with the team.

Step 2

We’ll chat through your requirements and see if Verature is right for you.

Step 3

We’ll send you demo access and our onboarding kit to help you decide what you need.

Step 4

You decide if we’re right for you. No pushy sales calls.

Step 5

Like what you see and hear? Let’s get you onboarded with Verature!

Book a demo