Why is contractor management important?
Using contractors involves an outside organization that will create risk to the site company. The contractors who are unfamiliar with the facility may create process hazards to the company. Thus companies must recognize and address challenges associated with using contractors; and select contractors based on stringent criteria. Only then can the company ensure safety of all people (onsite and offsite).
Contractor management is a system of controls to ensure that contracted services support safe facility operations. This element addresses the selection, acquisition, use, and monitoring of such contracted services. Systems must be established for qualifying firms based upon not only their technical capabilities, but also their safety programs and safety records.
The boundaries of authority and responsibilities must be clearly defined for any contractor that works at the facility. Periodic monitoring of contractor safety performance and auditing of contractor management systems is required. After completion of the work, evaluation of the safety performance should help to determine whether the contractor can be used again in any future work.
Contractors are not familiar with the facility safety controls and procedures hence the company needs to train them to understand the safety controls and procedures prior to them starting their work. The company must also make contractor to aware that they treat safety seriously and the contractors must adhere to all safety rules, guidelines, procedures, etc. while performing their job. Training must be provided to contractors if they are handling critical tasks that may create major process safety hazards.
Don’t treat contractor management as a petty issue, it can create process safety hazards if it is not well managed.