Can using a subcontractor affect your safety record and/or safety program?

by Rhonda Sheffield

If you own a construction company, the answer can definitely be YES.

There are a lot of factors to take in to consideration when using a new subcontractor or vendor but there is one area that is most often overlooked.  This one mistake could be very costly to your company and you personally depending how your company structure.  Now you may ask “Why would it be costly to my company?”  Well, let’s say for example that one of their workers causes an incident at your workplace.  This may involve one of your employees getting injured, getting a visit from an OSHA inspector – or even worse yet, you may have an innocent bystander get injured which could even open you up to potential lawsuits. 


The best prevention, before starting a relationship with any new subcontractor or vendor, you should review their workplace safety habits.  Here are 5 easy steps to protecting yourself, your company and your workers.


1.      Prequalify your subcontractors/vendors.  Don’t be afraid to ask for their written safety programs, permits and licenses.


2.      Pre-job task and risk assessment.  Have a method for evaluating the risks of the work the subcontractors will be performing on your job site.  You should require them to also adhere to your safety program and policies.


3.      Training and Evaluation.  This should be a requirement before they even step foot on your job site.  Make sure that they have all necessary PPE and training and/or licensing to perform such work.  It might not hurt to even have them review the safety procedures they have been taught with you so that you know that they understand the importance of safety.


4.      Job Monitoring.  Include all onsite workers in to your morning safety or pre-shift tailgate meetings.  Complete weekly inspection walk-throughs to include those areas worked by the subcontractor employees.


5.      Post-job evaluations.  This is something you would or should be doing anyway.  Be sure to include those areas completed by the subcontractors/vendors.  The quality of the finished work is ultimately your responsibility.  It is your reputation on the line.


If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at (315) 258-8780.