Most companies have already made huge progress in employee safety, but contractor safety remains a nagging problem. It's no good having some people protected and others not.

If you’re employing contractors on your site – or if you're sending your team to work as contractors on  a variety of client sites with their own risks and exposures - it's imperative they're equipped with everything they need to work safely and productively.

Here are 5 reasons why contractor safety isn't always up to scratch - and what you can do to improve the safety of your people when they're out on-site.

1 Lack of ownership for Contractor Safety responsibility

Too often, no one is around to make sure the contractor follows workplace safety rules on site. Accidents with contractors are frequently caused by poor communication – when staff don’t know there is a contractor working nearby, and when contractors don’t know the dangers they're exposed to.

If you’re using contractors or subcontractors on your site, you and the contractor are jointly responsible for their safety. In the event of an incident, the Health & Safety Executive will look to both of you for answers.

If you delegate the task of managing contractors, decide who will take responsibility for every aspect of their behaviour and the equipment they use.

2 Lack of proper assessment of task-based and environmental exposures

Safety begins with assessing the hazards of a job and then taking steps to minimise those risks. However, when sites have different exposures from tasks to noise and dangerous chemicals, it's hard to keep up with every challenge.

As a contractor, you'll need to assess the specific hazards of each site that your workers visit. Even if the tasks they carry out remain essentially the same, where and when they complete them has a significant implication on PPE.

Potentially, that means you could  need completely different PPE and training for different sites and clients.

3 Lack of knowledge of site safety culture and acceptance of PPE

Different clients have a different safety culture and level of PPE acceptance.

For example, Health & Safety could be a low priority in a simple office building, but a critical factor at a chemical manufacturing plant. There are different rules that your people will need to observe, but if you don't understand these rules and the individual cultures at work, it's impossible for them to comply.

This can be overcome by looking at existing Health & Safety guidance used for internal personnel, as well as a bespoke job risk analysis for each site. It's also important to remember that, even if safety doesn't seem to be a priority for your client, it's your job to prioritise the safety of your own people.

4 Lack of clear PPE branding

Branded PPE helps to identify who is who across a site, which can be a useful form of communication. This goes beyond physical protection to encouraging a culture of safety where communication flows freely and people can always quickly and easily see what is happening around them.

What's more, some clients may insist on branded PPE that fits with their own image. This may involve customising your existing PPE or ensuring the reliable supply of branded PPE to individual sites.

5 Difficulty ordering the right PPE for the tasks

Finally, with so many different PPE requirements, some contractors simply lack the detailed knowledge it takes to find the right PPE for each task. The right partner can help you to address the exposures your people face and recommend appropriate protection.

It's also vitally important that any PPE you require is easy to order, even at short notice. When contractors take on last-minute jobs or need to rush into action, protection and safety shouldn't be left behind. With the support of a proactive supplier, you can make sure that every worker is equipped with the right equipment, at the right time, every time.

Getting the right PPE for every job

At Anchor Safety, we build close relationships with every customer so we can truly understand the tasks they carry out. For contractors, this means looking at the different clients they work with and sites they send people to. We can then find the right PPE to keep your people safe and enable #SafeBehaviour.

We also go further to make sure you have what you need, whether that's reminding you to get an order in, expediting orders, or carrying out fast PPE and workwear branding using our in-house technology. We'll even help you communicate varying PPE requirements to your wearers, drawing on our knowledge of safety cultures and change management.

As a result, you can be sure your people are safe and consistently protected - wherever and whenever they need to work. To find out more about how we can help, don't hesitate to get in touch on 0800 328 5028