How to tackle contractor safety

Tackle contractor safety with a digital solution

Whether they want it or not, digital transformation is high on the priority list of many manufacturing companies. This transition to a different business model or a different way of organizing, in which digital technologies play a dominant role, allows existing processes to be optimized. Have you already thought about a digital solution for working with third parties? With companies in the industrial sector being more controlled than ever, it is crucial that they have a strategic, systematic approach to managing all their relationships with third parties. A digital contractor management system reduces human error to a minimum, ensuring that no risk is overlooked. After all, contractors and subcontractors are essential to your business because of their specialized skills and expertise. But what about workflow? What about the safety issues that outside contractors can cause? Do you have a precise picture of the contractors who are on-site? For sure? Even if we are talking about subcontractors? Are all the departments involved on the same page? Digitizing your contractor management prevents third parties from being or becoming the weak link in your safety chain.

A new way of working

Darwin said it as early as 1800: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that responds most to change.” A statement that is more relevant than ever. In industry, adapting means above all being agile, even when it comes to working with third parties. Companies need to identify, assess, mitigate and counter the threats, which working with third parties brings. Only a powerful, integrated and proactive digital solution can achieve these goals. The system must guarantee security, be scalable, and allow your organization and third parties to save time.

What is the purpose of a digital contractor management system?

A digital contractor management system is a control system that ensures performance objectives related to third parties are met. It guarantees increased process safety, increased personal safety, and safe execution of work. A contractor management system supports the selection, qualification, control, and monitoring of the third parties you work with. With time savings, compliance with procedures, central overview, and increased safety as a result.

The contractor risks that need to be tackled

Multiple departments involved and different systems… when no one is in control of risk management, it leads to redundancies, inefficiencies, and higher costs. Companies have to put in significant manual effort to collect and analyze increasingly large data sets but have limited knowledge of the industry or its processes.
What contractor risks does the industry face?

  • Decision and data silos preventing information sharing.
  • Lack of end-to-end information management prevents overview. Inadequate overview of contractor companies, their employees, and the risks they bring along.
  • No appropriate system for managing risks.
  • Insufficient attention to quality assurance and/or reporting.
  • Incorrect decisions made by the contractor due to an excess of, or unclear, safety regulations.
  • Inadequate visibility of who is on-site and what tasks are being performed.
  • Inadequate monitoring of performance to assess which contractors generate greater risks and which areas need improvement.
  • Paper-based systems or multiple systems leading to bureaucratic overload.

Classic contractor management versus digital contractor management

ActionClassic contractor managementDigital contractor management
Planning and assurancePlanning and dispatching are managed with a mix of offline tools such as whiteboards, spreadsheets, phone calls, emails and text messages. You get changing contractor employees who don’t always know the safety rules.Accurate and centralized overview of the schedule through an online environment. The certainty that the contracted staff are not constantly changing and are properly trained.
Data exchangeData exchange takes place via mail, telephone and post. Time-consuming and complicated preparation. The risk of incomplete records, misunderstandings and human error is high. Easily accessible central repository of contractor data. All required information is entered into one environment by the contractor firm through a contractor self-management system. This leaves the contractor responsible for safety performance, training, insurance and other important requirements.
SafetySafety checks are done manually and sporadically. There is no central overview. A fragmented and incomplete approach to safety indicators.Focus on critical indicators, such as pre-task risk assessments, reporting of near misses, and sharing of lessons learned contribute to increased site safety.
Due diligenceBecause verification is done manually, it becomes a time-consuming and error-prone process. You have no overview of documents required by law. Via the collected company information (qualifications, licenses, registrations…) you demonstrate that all procedures comply with the law. Verification is largely automatic.
OnboardingSafety training is not followed or is incomplete. Safety regulations are not known or insufficiently known. Contractor firm considers safety as peripheral information. Online personalized training taken in advance or on site. By adding test questions, the contractor is required to carefully go through the training. Ability to import existing gate films and inductions. You can prove that your contractors have completed their general and site or project specific induction.
Risk assessment No nuance in assigning jobs. Lack of a risk assessment system at the level of jobs to be performed. No clear overview of the contracting firm’s safety history. Assignment of safety requirements linked to the level of risk of the job to be performed. Full understanding of safety performance during prequalification.
CommunicationMails are lost or not answered, you have the wrong person on the line and important messages are lost. Poor communication leads to distrust, frustration and conflict. A fully integrated communication system reduces the cost of failure. Good communication between the client and the contracting firm results in better planning and coordination, less time pressure and better performance from external parties. Communication remains traceable.


Make sure the system you choose meets the following requirements:

  • It is simple and easy to use, for internal employees as well as for contractor companies.
  • It is a SAAS (software as a service) solution. The supplier provides management and maintenance.
  • It facilitates communication and streamlines usage for all types of users.
  • It gives your contractors access to information, training, and autonomous management of personal information (including licenses, certifications).
  • It integrates with other systems (like your access system for example).
  • It complies with European legislation.
  • It is flexible (you can adapt the system to the specific requirements of your company).
  • The supplier offers support during the entire implementation period (via helpdesk, change management workshops,…).
  • The supplier offers support after implementing the system (for the client and for the contracting company).
  • The system supports user permissions.
  • The system works with access levels and job levels.

With Onyx One, we have a simple tool for follow-up, more accurate data, and clear criteria following a unified process.”

Onyx One

Contractor management system

Onyx One has everything you expect from a contractor management system. It automates all qualification processes, integrates online safety training and takes your contractor management to the next level. It is a system developed at the request of and in cooperation with the European industry.

“Procedures are much faster and we have accurate and complete information. On top of that, our contractor platform allows us to streamline and significantly facilitate the arduous follow-up process. We now know exactly who we are working with.”

Feel free to ask for a demo. Call us at +32 9 269 80 21 or leave your details here.

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