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Time for Plan D in EHS: Digitalization

Tackle the complex issue of contractor safety by using digital solutions.

Digitization can help EHS managers improve oversight of on-site contractors, using either software or a mobile app.

Effective management of risks is crucial to the safety and sustainability of businesses everywhere. Today, the risks are many, from a potential global recession and persistent inflation to a geopolitical conflict and ever-increasing risk caused by climate change. Now more than ever, businesses cannot afford contractor safety to be the weak link in the safety chain.

Contractors are essential to your business for their specialized skills, training and expertise. At the same time, without a proper understanding of your site, your operations, their specific jobs, and safe work procedures, contractors can put themselves, as well as your company’s reputation and brand at risk. That’s why digital solutions, which offers tracking and can be easily accessed, should be a major part of an effective Contractor Safety Management Program.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Charles Darwin, 1809

According to Darwin’s Theory of Survival, it’s not the strongest that survive, it’s those that are the most adaptable. Adapting in these upending times also requires being agile. That’s why it’s imperative for Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) and Operational Risk Managers to be at the forefront of risk mitigation. Because your businesses are often on the frontline — essential businesses that can’t afford any kind of interruption — an integrated, holistically managed system of digitized workflows might just be the smartest way forward.

Let’s consider the contractor risks facing Environment, Health & Safety and Operational Risk Management today. According to our customers, these are the challenges they face and often struggle with to mitigate those risks:

  • Decision and data silos that prohibit the sharing of information
  • Lack of end-to-end information management, which limits a complete view of contractor companies, their workers and the risks they pose
  • Numerous and different safety practices make it hard for contractors to do the right thing
  • Loss of visibility into who is onsite and undertaking what tasks, which can endanger employees and contractors
  • Effective performance monitoring to assess which contractors pose greater risks and areas for improvement
  • Paper-based systems or multiple systems that create red-tape overload

With supply chains being impacted, many companies are struggling to remain viable. Some are facing additional contractor safety risks unique to them or from external pressures.

  • How do we continue operations and keep contractors safe with additional controls?
  • What shape are contractor organizations in? Do we need to assess new contractors or re-qualify existing ones?
  • What documentation do we need to create and what records do we need to retain?
  • How can we tighten engagement and monitoring to ensure any new processes and procedures are being followed?

You can overcome challenges by carefully considering EHS technologies available. Digital technologies can help connect the dots for contractor safety management practices and can support companies in improving the safety performance of contractor and sub-contractor workers, which will mitigate risks to your business.

An adaptable and agile workflow solution can help. Consider cloud-based software with integrated Contractor Safety Management, like SAI360 for EHS from SAI360. SAI360 is a cloud-first risk management platform with modern ethics and compliance learning content. In fact, SAI360 was recognized as a leader in the 2023 Verdantix Green Quadrant (GQ). As in previous years, SAI360 scored high for contractor safety management.

Here are some of the benefits EHS managers will derive from using integrated workflow software with mobile technology to get a more holistic view of Contractor Safety Risks.

  • A central register of all current and prospective contractor companies
    Take control of past, present and future hires. Also, administer pre-qualification assessments, store relevant documents and set up automated alerts and reminders of key review dates.
  • Training and competency tracking
    Assign competencies, track training requirements, generate a training needs analysis and receive automated alerts of expiring qualifications.
  • Use existing digital tools to engage contractors
    Engage contractors with a portal to access safety information, and digitized mobile tools to undertake self-assessments, Take 5 and critical control verification.
  • Leverage a Permit to Work process
    Associate permitted work tasks, review the risks and hazards, send a job safety card, gain visibility on who is onsite and leverage pre and post checklists for safe completion of work.
  • Streamline data capture to monitor performance
    Allow contractors to report incidents and hazards; establish portals to collect contractor safety information or set up regular feeds from contractor solutions.
  • Improve performance
    Track corrective and preventative actions, capture and share lessons learned with contractors.
  • Enhance integration
    Effortlessly integrate with other software solutions and different technology devices so that all the data may be analyzed centrally for a holistic view of contractor risks.

To further assist EHS professionals in managing and monitoring the health and safety of their contractors remotely, SAI360 offers:

  • A mobile app to report and manage incidents and near misses online or offline
  • Simplified mobile workflow with easy-to-use configurable checklists for contractors to perform self-assessments prior to commencing tasks
  • Interactive dashboards to view trends and analyze the performance of contractors across a range of KPIs.

As resilience and risk-readiness is being redefined, today’s EHS professionals will benefit from smart, swift, and easily integrated solutions so that their businesses remain adaptable and agile. And their employees and contractors remain safe.

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