ISO 45001 and Contractor Management – What it Means to You
This blog post will describe the requirements within ISO 45001:2018 Clauses 220.127.116.11
Clause 18.104.22.168: Contractors
The organisation must co-ordinate its procurement process with its contractors, in order to identify hazards and to assess and control the OH&S risks arising from:
Contractors’ activities and operations that impact or have the potential to impact the organisation;
The organisation’s activities and operations that impact or have the potential to impact contractors’ workers;
Contractors’ activities and operations that impact or have the potential to impact other interested parties in the workplace such as visitors or the public.
In a nutshell, ISO 45001 standard requires “The organisation shall establish and maintain processes to ensure that the requirements of the organisation’s OH&S management system [that apply to their employees] are met by contractors and their workers. These processes shall include the OH&S criteria for selection of contractors” and that, “The organisation shall establish controls to ensure that the procurement of goods and services conform to its OH&S management system requirements”.
So, contractors will have to be treated the same as employees and, as an organisation, it’s your responsibility as part of your OH&S management system to make sure that hazards are communicated appropriately and to evaluate and control all the risks accordingly.
Contractor activities include the full gamut of services provided to organisations including maintenance, construction, facilities, security, cleaning, waste management and a number of other functions. Contracting activities can also encompass consultants, accountants, administrators and other specialist service providers.
The organisation must ensure that the requirements of its OH&S management system are met by contractors and their workers. The procurement process should define and apply occupational health and safety criteria in the selection of contractors, ideally in contract documents or service level agreements (SLAs).
It’s no longer going to be enough just to have documents in place – certification to ISO 45001 requires companies to show that processes are in place and that senior management are actively involved. To demonstrate these processes and show that action has been taken, the systems that are managing your health and safety operations must be robust, and have audit trails.
So how can you move towards being compliant? You’ve got to show, as part of your system, that employees and contractors are all treated the same. Do you apply exactly the same processes? Exactly the same controls? The same work authorization processes/permits? And the same reporting mechanisms? Should there be any sort of an incident the reporting system needs to be able to show whether it was employees or contractors, what actions you took, and what preventative actions you took to make sure that workers are remaining safe.
The organisation must verify that contractors are capable of performing their tasks before being allowed to proceed with their work, by, for example:
Reviewing the contractor’s OH&S management system documentation such as risk assessments, procedures/work instructions/method statements, OH&S manual/Safety Statement;
Confirming that the contractor’s OH&S performance records are satisfactory (review OH&S prosecutions, notifiable accidents or dangerous occurrences, improvement or prohibition notices);
Assessing the contractor’s understanding of its OH&S legal and other obligations;Determining that qualification, experience and competence criteria for workers are specified and have been met (e.g. through training);
Resources, equipment and work preparations are adequate and ready for the work to proceed;
Checking the contractor’s emergency and evacuation plans and procedures and level of preparedness in the event of an emergency;
Reviewing the contractor’s process for incident investigation, and reporting of non-conformities and corrective actions;
Assessing contractor OH&S consultation, communication and participation with and of its workforce and other relevant interested parties including the organisation;
Ensuring that the contractors are trained in identification of Hazards and Risks
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