EHS compliance is an essential factor for all companies that work with any type of hazardous chemicals. Part of that compliance involves the implementation of effective EHS solutions to protect all employees who work with or around such materials. It is important to note that a company’s responsibility to safety does not end with their employees. Total compliance to EHS programs also involves the participation of contractors and other third parties.
Hired Contractors and EHS Compliance
Whenever a company hires contractors to work at their location or elsewhere, that company is responsible for contractor safety. Any violation of safety regulations by contractors can result in the hiring company facing repercussions. It is a priority that hiring companies make contractors aware of the hiring company’s safety policies and that compliance will be monitored.
Keeping Contractors Compliant with EHS Programs
Job safety is a prime consideration for all companies working with hired contractors. To ensure that these services work within required safety guidelines, businesses can protect themselves and all employees in a number of ways:
- Pre-Screen According to Safety Records - It is essential to work with contractors that have good safety records, as this suggests an awareness of the need to be compliant to established EHS programs. Search through third-party agencies that have worked with different contractors and can vouch for the contractor’s qualifications and safety record.
- Evaluate Job Risk and Contractor Suitability - Before hiring a service, clearly understand the risks of a particular contract and what will be required to maintain EHS compliance. Then use that information to evaluate and choose the most suitable contractor based on their proven safety record.
- Provide On-Site Training and Orientation - Before allowing contractors to begin work, provide them with training so they can follow a company’s specific EHS solutions. This ensures that all contracted workers are aware of the hiring company’s policies and that they must work within them for greatest EHS compliance. A pre-task safety plan can be outlined at this time, then distributed to ensure all employees are aware of applicable safety regulations.
- Inspect and Monitor Work - Hiring companies must monitor what is happening at their job sites to ensure compliance with safety regulations. Work should be inspected daily to verify that it complies with all safety plans outlined during training and orientation. Everything should be monitored throughout the job and corrections made if adjustments to outlined safety programs become necessary.
- Make Contractors Responsible for Subcontractors - Some contractors may call in assistance from subcontractors, adding to the concern over workplace safety. Companies must insist that hired services provide the same degree of training and monitoring of any retained subcontractors. Subcontractor compliance should be viewed as a part of contractor compliance, with the contractor responsible for ensuring that EHS programs are followed.
Maintaining safety at job sites where hired contractors work is part of every company’s responsibility in ensuring company-wide EHS compliance. To be sure that all parties involved in a project remain in compliance, hiring companies must selectively choose the companies they hire and then inform those contractors of existing EHS programs that must be followed. It is the responsibility of the hiring company to provide the right EHS solutions as well as ensure that all contractors work within those parameters!