Any manager in the food manufacturing industry will tell you that managing independent contractors and freelancers presents the biggest challenge. Their response will likely relate to finishing the work, such as difficulties with briefing, meeting deadlines, project planning, etc. Contractor compliance is one aspect of freelancer and contractor engagements that are frequently ignored.
Contractor compliance simply refers to the legal and regulatory aspects of working with independent contractors and freelancers. The smooth operation of the engagement is maintained by this invisible component of the machine. In this context, it serves three main purposes: ensuring that you engage your external workers in a legal and compliant manner; ensuring that your external workers adhere to regulatory requirements in their work, and maintaining adequate protection for your company if they don’t. So, how does it work and why does it benefit the food manufacturing industry?
Even though many businesses now employ contract workers and freelancers, most of the time it is still the individual managers who are in charge of the engagement. Without involving the HR, legal or HSEQ teams, they hire outside contractors, complete the work (often through email or verbal agreements), and then simply forward the invoice to the accounts department. However, this implies that nobody is checking to see if rules and laws are being followed. How, then, can compliance be guaranteed? The answer is with a streamlined process.
Every detail of the engagement should be outlined in the contract and project file, including what work the external worker is expected to complete,associated risks and safe systems of work, and everything in between. Verature can help your business to meet your due diligence responsibilities and avoid repercussions such as HSE fines and prosecutions. With a streamlined process, you would also be able to make sure that all the necessary paperwork is gathered, stored, and verified, available for audit and interrogation should the need arise.
Lack of standardisation results in lower visibility, lower compliance, and higher human error rates. Verature can assist you in maintaining compliance at work, at home, and across numerous sites. Verature offers time- and paper-saving features like Health and Safety Questionnaires, insurance tracking, RAMS requests, and reporting of work permits and other passes. Don’t believe us? Then see what our clients have to say.
“After reading about the Verature system online and viewing its information video, I was very keen to explore the system and its capabilities further. We were very dependent on paper processes to manage our contractors on site; understanding the concept of compliance through the Verature infographic opened my eyes to how we could move in the right direction to remove ourselves from paper and use a forward-thinking system.”Derek Holes, Facilities Manager, Ornua Foods
Agri-food cooperative Ornua, known as “The Home of Irish Dairy,” markets and sells dairy products on behalf of its members, Ireland’s dairy processors, who in turn sell those products to Irish dairy farmers. Ornua has been operating in the UK for more than 50 years and is currently one of the country’s top dairy product suppliers. Regarding the management of contractors and the approval of work permits, the company relied heavily on paper processes throughout its site. Ornua Foods was eager to investigate a solution to get rid of their paper-based procedure and alter how they handle contractors and site visitors. That’s where we stepped in.
Viewing Verature’s video on the stages of contractor management assisted in identifying the need for improvement and standardisation of their contractor compliance process, particularly concerning the demands of:
“We could initially see the value in the Verature system and knew it would be the solution to our problems and that we needed to implement it immediately; we even spoke to other users and had a site visit to personally see the positive impact it had on other businesses.”Derek Holes, Facilities Manager, Ornua Foods
To help the company gain control and establish a standardised internal procedure for managing the onboarding and issuing of permits to work when contractors and visitors attend the site, the Verature development team has given Ornua Foods their own Verature Visitor and Contractor Management System. The business now has a collaborative system that satisfies the needs of numerous departments and buildings and can identify gaps where the system can further improve its compliance workflows and internal communications. This is made possible by the flexibility with which Verature can be configured to Ornua’s workflows.
Here at Verature we help food manufacturers, with their regulations around Food Safety and Health Declarations, issue questionnaires, induction and self-declarations to contractors before and/or on arrival. This requirement was intensified during Covid-19 restrictions and we developed a Covid-specific questionnaire.Want to learn more about how Verature can help with your contractor compliance?
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