Contractor Safety: Safety Topics - July 2019, Week 5


Plants and contractors go hand in hand. Often times, operations are outsourced to contractors for efficiency, but can generate new risks which must be managed. A strong safety culture, good training, complete risk analysis, and periodical safety audits make contracting just as safe as the standard work process.

Monday                 Defining Safe Leadership

The major difficulties of contracting are variances in safety vision and risk management processes between contractor and plant management. Leadership roles must be clearly defined to get management on the same page.

Before starting a project, plan a meeting between managers. During this meeting, visit the work site, share company safety policies, evaluate the risks of the job, and plan hazard prevention and control actions.

Also, remember to define leadership organization that is clear, formalized, and states:

  • Who is the contracting manager
  • Who is the site foreman
  • Who is the plant manager

Take advantage of this meeting and define the safety policies in the case of:

  • Fire:
    • Nearest fire assembly pint
    • Evacuatin routes
    • Fire extinguisher locations
    • Emergency numbers
  • Other Incidents:
    • Define who can intervene
    • Define who must be on call

Tuesday                   Operation Risk Analysis

Risk and difficulty can be present when a contractor works at a new site. In order for potential risks between the companies working together to be minimized, a risk analysis must be done and should focus on:

  • Potential risks generated by Company A on Company B
  • Potential risks generated by Company B on Company A
  • Potential risks generate by the interaction between the companies.

Clearly defining potential risks of the job and preventative actions should be put in place before the start of a project.

Wednesday              Environmental Risk Analysis

Similar to safety risk analysis, environmental risk analysis should focus on:

  • Risk of pollution in the air, ground, and waste waters.
  • Noise levels and their effects on hearing.
  • Waste generation by the operation and how it is handled. How is dangerous waste handled, stored, and disposed of?

Environmental risks must be recorded and preventive actions should be put in place before any contrator operations start. Environmental risks should also be discussed with contracting managers to ensure risks associated with the job are fully understood.

Thursday                 Contractor Training

After the safety and environmental risk analyses are conducted and preventative actions are put in place, do not forget to train employees and contractors on the different risks associated with their role.

  • Plant Employees: Be sure they protect themselves against the potential risks (ex: ear plugs).
  • Contractors: Ensure they are familiar with the plant safety policies, all emergency procedures, and risks associated with tasks they are expected to do.

Friday                       Check the Work Site

The safety conditions of a work site are subject to change. While a site may have all risks handled, a small accident or slip up still has the potential to occur.

As safety leaders, we must keep our attention on the operation area to be sure all preventative actions are in place and properly enforced. Consider using a safety audit grid to ensure contractors follow safety requirements. Think to check if:

  • The contractor knows the safety requirements, emergency procedures, and who to contact in teh case of an incident.
  • The risks of all plant operations are well managed
  • Tools are in good condition for use
  • Personal Protective Equipment is used
  • Waste management procedures are followed

It is not difficult to work safely with a contractor. A clear safety leadership, strong risk analysis, good preventive action plan, and the right training are the keys to reach the goal.


Tags: safety topics , injury prevention , osha training basics ,

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