Safe Work Australia statistics show that since 2005 serious injuries in the workplace have fallen by 29%, with fatalities falling 49% since 2007 when they were at their peak. These reductions can be largely attributed to greater emphasis on health and safety practices by both companies and individuals, combined with more stringent legal requirements.
Ensuring the workplace is a safe environment will be a priority for any company. A safe workplace has the obvious benefit of reducing injuries and saving lives, but also minimises the risk to your company’s reputation, while limiting the potential for legal liabilities and fines.
Hiring Qualified Workers
Hiring workers that have the relevant experience, qualifications, and safety training (often a legal or contractual obligation of the bidding process) can go a long way to ensure the workplace stays safe and jobs are completed properly and efficiently. And, prequalifying contractors can make sure that your organisation meets those requirements, without adding additional delays for your business and its projects.
It is often thought that prequalification can all be handled in-house, and when your workers number in the single digits an in-house system is certainly a viable option. The larger your company grows however, the more complex, expensive and risk prone handling everything yourself becomes.
When dealing with any system in a large organisation there are often tens or hundreds of moving parts. Different departments will have varying internal, external, and legal requirements. Each department will primarily be focused on the requirements that fall directly under their remit, so for any single contractor, many departments may be checking various elements. For example, Legal will be focusing on contractual details and liability waivers, while Procurement is ensuring they have the appropriate insurances and resources to complete the project. The Workplace Health & Safety team will be checking they have the relevant qualifications and safety systems to go onsite without endangering themselves or others, where as Project Managers will want to know that the contractor has the necessary experience in the field the job requires. All these things need to be checked and verified for every contractor, while keeping all the proper documentation in a central, easily accessible location. A single hire can mean hours of work in verification, documentation, and cross-departmental sharing of a contractors’s qualifications. And that’s before you add in the extra work generated by companies who have distributed sites across the country or globe.
Things Can Go Wrong
As in any system with so many moving parts, things can can be easily missed or wrongly actioned. Documentation may get lost or incorrectly filed, an error with serious consequences when it comes to compliance with legislation, WorkCover investigations or lawsuits. This is especially true when each department and site may be using their own methods and systems for prequalification and documentation, doing so without communicating directly with each other. Without a unified central prequalification system that all departments and sites can use and work from, it’s a question of when, not if, something will go wrong, and when it does it can cost untold amounts in lost earnings, damaged reputations, and indeed people’s lives.
Developing, maintaining, and ensuring a suitable in-house system which meets the requirements of both your business and the law is of course possible. But not without substantial cost in the initial design and development, as well as the continued maintenance and staffing. This is where Conserve can help. Our online platform can be incorporated into your company’s existing in-house processes, augmenting and enhancing the systems you already have in place. We perform the heavy lifting of managing your contractors, providing a central database that can be accessed by all departments and sites, allowing for a consistent process for prequalification across your organisation. Additionally, our system provides automatic tracking and notifications of expiring qualifications and documents so you are never caught off guard. Conserve has been consistently developed and improved over the last 10 years allowing it to be the most efficient and streamlined system available in market today.
Contact Conserve today to see how we can help enhance your in-house prequalification system.