2020 Priorities For Contractor Safety? Competency Tracking And Permit To Work Software

More than 200 EHS executives from a range of industries including Amazon, Birla Carbon, Cardinal Health, CBS Corporation, Comcast, Delta Air Lines, ExxonMobil, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, Flowers Foods, Marriott and Solvay Specialty Polymers attended the eighth Verdantix EHS Summit. During a panel discussion on the theme “Fixing The Contractor Safety Challenge: Beyond Prequalification” the audience were asked ‘Which of the following will you prioritize to improve contractor safety in 2020?’. Fifty per cent said that they would prioritize individual contractor competency/qualification tracking, while 43% said digital permit to work systems. The more traditional areas of contractor safety training/onboarding (18%) and commercial contractor pre-qualification database (7%) both lagged behind.

What’s the take-away? Pre-qualification screens out high risk contractors with bad safety records and insufficient insurance. Firms with mature EHS management frameworks of the type at the Verdantix summit already work with pre-qualification providers like Alcumus, Avetta and Veriforce. So in 2020 they’re looking to enhance site-level contractor safety. To do this they need to ensure individuals employed by the contractors have the requisite safety training and technical competency. And they also need to apply risk controls to work being undertaken. The pre-qualification providers are developing new services to address these issues. And there is no doubt that permit to work and the broader control of work suites are going to be an investment priority in 2020. That helps explain why specialist control of work vendors such as eVision, Petrotechnics, RAP International, Engica and j5 International have all been acquired in the last 12 months.

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