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Contractor Management

Last updated: May 31, 2019

What Does Contractor Management Mean?

Contractor management is a form of worker management used for projects in which all or some of the workers are contract workers, as opposed to a project in which the entirety of the workforce is composed of workers directly employed by the project’s owner or a single designated party.

The use of contractor management systems is common in the construction industry, where multiple firms are typically contracted to do separate parts of a single job.

Safeopedia Explains Contractor Management

Contractor management is an important aspect of occupational safety, as safety risks tend to increase as more contractors are added into a workplace. This is due to the increased complexity of administering and enforcing compliance of a common set of safety standards and behaviors among a disparate group of workers.

The relationship between contractors on a worksite can be seen as a hierarchical chain or tree of contracted companies or persons, starting with the employer or primary contractor and descending downward through potentially multiple layers of subcontractors. This can complicate the ability of workers to determine who is responsible for their safety and what standards need to be met.

Occupational health and safety authorities typically provide legal responsibility of safety with the owner of a project or with the primary contractor (prime contractor) hired to complete that project. For instance, OSHA provides the prime contractor with responsibility for the safety of all persons working on a worksite. This responsibility makes contractor management a practical necessity for prime contractors to meet their duty to provide a safe working environment.

The growing use of contracted employment is an increasing labor trend that often results in a workforce that has a form analogous to a network. The use of purpose-built contractor management software is now a common means of managing the complexity of the interactions and relationships that result from these systems. Contractor management systems allow employers to improve safety and reduce workplace risks by mitigating the challenges associated with ensuring that a common set of standards, practices, and qualifications are met and by allowing employers to identify risks or potential compliance breaches, such as the presence of unauthorized subcontractors.


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