A year or so ago a regular consulting and training client of mine requested that I consider offering my services with them for thermal imaging surveys. This is mainly because I offered input with their thermal imaging protocol and it was a challenge for them to be find contractors who could provide the services to the level of detail that I advised.
The client had an in-place strategy where all of their contractors had to be registered with the SafeContractor scheme. Quoting from their own site they assist clients by..
SafeContractor partners with your organisation to help mitigate and manage risks posed by contractors working on your site(s) and provides visibility of their health and safety compliance.
This was a tried and tested method in my clients eyes to ensure all contractors had stringent attitudes and approach to Health and Safety and would ensure that the client takes the best approach with contractor procurement.. naturally I agreed to sign up.
When I approached Alcumus SafeContractor with my initial registration I had to supply them with evidence of necessary insurance documentation, which was a good start. Then I had to supply them with written method statements, risk assessments and other documentation with regards to the nature of the work I was to carry out.
Unfortunatley it appeared that there was nobody within the Alcumus SafeContractor organisation that could actually read and interpret an electrically detailed safe system of work, sanction process, method statement or roles and responsibilities/authorisation process.
My initial documentation was returned and I was asked to simplify the paperwork, with a couple of questions back and forth I was then sent some pdf ‘templates’ and told to pretty much copy and paste the information with a little bit of customisation – in other words the name of my organisation.
This frustrated me as I am constantly reviewing health and safety procedures and know very well how many free versions or paid versions are rotated around the organisations within the electrotechnical sector and most often or not the contractor is not even aware of the technical content within their own H&S paperwork.
This was proven back in March when a contractor on my clients site carried out unsafe working practice and when approached with their own H&S documentation and asked why they failed to comply, they pretty much confessed that they were provided all the paperwork by the accreditation company for SafeContractor, just cost a few more hundred £’s.
This was enough to illustrate to my client that relying on SafeContractor schemes is in no way a beneficial approach when it comes to compliance within their business.
They have kindly adjusted their policies and we will be working together moving forwards to develop more effective contractor competency and quality auditing procedures.
So my registration with SafeContractor is stopping with immediate effect – if you would like more of understanding as to why this is a step forward in compliance with legislation’s then contact me for more info.