Benefits of contractor safety qualification highlighted in new report

The National Safety Council (NSC) has released a new report, Making the Case for Contractor Management: Examining the Safety Benefits of 3rd Party Management. The report includes an analysis of hypotheses to assess the safety benefits of contractor safety prequalification programs for participating suppliers, contractors, and vendors. The contractors involved were found to have better total recordable rates; days away, restricted or transferred (DART) rates; and lost workday rates.

“Contract workers are a vulnerable population—often performing higher risk jobs in worksites with little to no management supervision,” said NSC workplace strategy director Amy Harper. “A best practice for employers is to have a formal contractor management program that helps qualify contractors to meet standards set by the hiring organization.” She called the findings of the report encouraging.

For the study, NSC used data from the BROWZ Contractor Database, which contains 16,460 contractors. BROWZ director of safety Pat Cunningham said the findings reaffirm his experience in the field when he was responsible for the contractor qualification of a large utility company. He says prequalifying contractors for safety creates awareness and helps educate organizations where safety practices may be lacking. “Contractor prequalification works, and it makes a difference when we are all striving to ensure that workers go home safe each night.”