The construction sector, manufacturing and industry as a whole have long been seen as the backbone of the UK economy. When they’re doing well, the nation is generally considered in good health.
One of the major challenges that construction companies face in boom times is getting the right staff on board.
The solution for many building projects is to take on third parties, trained builders, plumbers, electricians and the like who can fill in the gaps when it comes to staffing needs. This only works well, however, if you have a strong process in place for managing subcontractors.
It’s especially challenging when it comes to subcontractor health and safety. Making sure regulations are followed and no one is put at risk can be difficult, particularly if there are multiple contractors on site.
It’s not surprising that the construction industry has a relatively high rate when it comes to workplace injuries. According to the statistics:
- 144 people were killed at work in 2017/18 and 38 were in the construction sector.
- Some 82,000 workers suffered from non-fatal injuries in 2018, with 62% of these related to musculoskeletal disorders.
The Benefit of Good Subcontractor Management
Obviously, if you have different people coming into to do work on a construction site or major building development, you need to know what’s going on with each of them and how they are performing at any point in time.
Subcontractor health and safety processes ensure that everyone follows the rules and knows what is expected of them. Just one unmonitored subcontractor who doesn’t keep to these rules can cause a major problem that has huge ramifications.
Managing subcontractors effectively requires involvement at every stage of the procurement process. Hiring the right people means that you are sure they can complete the job that you have designated to them, safely and on time. You are aware of their qualifications and know that that they possess the necessary skills.
Strong communication between the site manager and contractors once work is underway is vital if you want to avoid the pitfalls such as health and safety mistakes which can lead to injury, lost productivity and reputational damage to your business.
Effective subcontractor management also means that each contractor works well within the overall plan. Getting it wrong can mean delays, people pushing to get jobs finished and risking health and safety in the process.
Any deficiency on-site may lead to a HSE intervention which would be issued to the Principal Contractor not the sub-contractor.
The Need for Subcontractor Health and Safety Training
Site managers are integral to delivering a environment where contractor safety complies with current regulations.