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Due diligence management in the contingent workforce

03 October 2019

The responsibility of due diligence never goes away. It merely changes.

Safety, technology and the law surrounding due diligence in contractor management were hot topics in Adelaide at the 2019 National Safety Council Australia Foundation’s breakfast forum.

WorkSafe (safety), Sparke Helmore (legal) and Sitepass (system) presented expert opinions on the topic of contractor management and due diligence followed by an active expert panel Q&A session.

Conducting Due Diligence Management

Due diligence management is a vital component in every workplace. It is the legal obligation of management to ensure the health, safety and risk aversion of their workers at all times. The contractor due diligence process involves taking the appropriate steps and actions required to ensure that legal safety requirements are met within the workplace. This is both expected and required throughout the hiring period as well as for the duration of employment.

Contractor due diligence management involves OHS requirements such as:

  • Obtaining up to date knowledge of workplace hazards.
  • Clear understanding of the contractor health and safety program.
  • Ongoing monitoring of contractors to ensure compliance is upheld.
  • Regular communication between leadership, full time and contingent workers.

Due diligence management is not a one time job. As the workforce evolves, new issues will arise. A solution to previous hazards may only work for so long, especially as processes, compliance and legal requirements develop. The key is staying on top of your workforce through continuous care and accountability, incident reporting and creating a safe, connected culture.

Care and Accountability

Whether a contractor or an employee, a worker in your organisation should be cared and accounted for.

The distinction between employees and contractors continues to be unclear when it comes to HR’s responsibility of due diligence management. With a steady rise in the continued use of contractors, there is a duty of care for HR leaders to ensure that contractors are made to feel included within the organisations’ culture.  This positively shows care and accountability, while encouraging the right attitudes and invariably driving better levels of safety.

Culture takes effect when a person starts a job. HR leaders are advised to assess their contingent workforce, whether that is to manage them, or to monitor them. This can be achieved through the following processes:

  • Where needed, ensure there is a senior supervisor managing the job, and with monitoring, be mindful of the risks around limited control as well as what level of frequency is appropriate.
  • Safety officers need to be on site to affect changes in order to create and maintain a safe working culture.
  • Enable contractors to take ownership of safety in their workspace to encourage responsibility without taking autonomy away from them.

Incident Reporting

No accidents or near misses

Incident reporting is a key factor in contractor due diligence management. Unfortunately, there are growing concerns over non-reporting of accidents and near misses in the workplace by contractors. Some may be tempted to dismiss near misses as ‘no harm, no foul’ situations, yet serious incidents occur all too frequently.

Those that diligently track near misses, determine how and why they occurred in the first place, taking preventative action to avoid more serious incidents from happening in the future, are pathing the way to a safer working environment. It’s important to not only manage and monitor, but also promote a culture of reporting as well as making contractors feel comfortable to ask for help.

All occurrences, no matter how small should be reported as part of a continuous improvement strategy that will assure the best possible long term outcome.

Safe and Connected

Creating a safe and connected culture

Boon Chew Soon, safety consultant and international keynote speaker, recently presented at SAFETYConnect about how people are often the weakest link in safety. To overcome the problem of employees not following rules, there has been a tendency to educate and nag them; followed by consequence management. He stresses this results in only temporary compliance or even passive aggressiveness.

To effectively change attitude, there needs to be less pushing and more pulling. Importance should be placed in improving conditions that make it easier and more appealing for people to change. This will surely eventuate with a positively directed culture.

Connect people, involve them and make them realise the business purpose and direction. This in turn will support a safer working environment where ownership of due diligence management comes from the people as well as the business.

Does this correlate with your current business and people strategy?

Improve Your Due Diligence Management with Sitepass

Manage your entire workforce and stay on top of your due diligence management with Sitepass. One place to manage workers, compliance and risk – Sitepass and contractor due diligence go hand in hand.

Learn more about how Sitepass can help you with your due diligence management today.

Ben Borin
Ben Borin

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