The prospect of charges from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for safety breaches brings the issue of site safety into even sharper focus. It also means that contractors need to be even more vigilant in ensuring that they, and their sub-contractors, are safety-conscious. Using the right supply chain management tools can help.

Construction Enquirer reports that, from April 2012, HSE inspectors will be able to charge contractors for their time, at a rate of £124 per hour, if a site visit results in an improvement or prohibition notice, or a letter requiring safety improvements. And while the majority of main contractors are already very safety-conscious the same isn’t always true of their sub-contractors. Many contractors seek to address this issue through the pre-qualification stage of appointing sub-contractors and other suppliers. But the fact that a company says the right things on paper doesn’t mean its staff will do the right things on site. The answer is to maintain accurate, up-to-date records of sub-contractor performance and to make that information visible to the entire company so that experience from one project is shared with others. Unfortunately, given the huge volumes of information involved, this visibility of information is often difficult to maintain using traditional methods. The answer is to employ an easy-to-use web-based supply chain management tool, like Causeway MyRegister. MyRegister brings all supplier and sub-contractor information, performance management and accreditation data into one database that is visible throughout the business. In addition, all of the information is submitted online so there are no emails or paper documents to manage. This makes it very easy for project managers to not only check the accreditation of sub-contractors but also to see how they have performed on other projects – including health and safety performance. Crucially it’s also very easy to use by all staff. As M+W’s Head of Procurement David Swinburne commented: “We did look at other systems, but they were either too complex or not suited to our style of business. Nothing ticked all of the boxes like MyRegister did.”

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