With many industries characterised by a large number of contractors, one of the most challenging aspects is how to manage and source contractors and suppliers. With a disproportionate number of accidents affecting non-permanent workers – 70% of site accidents related to temporary workers in 2018/19 – better contractor management could have a significant impact on helping to create better workplaces.
Both companies and the contractors you use have responsibilities under health and safety law to make sure the right precautions are in place to reduce the risks of workplace dangers. So, when it comes to choosing the contractors you work with, you need to satisfy yourself that the contractor can do the job safely and without risks. Do they have the right combination of skills, experience and knowledge and how will they control any risks?
Undertaking a £480 million development programme, London City Airport (LCA) began working with Alcumus Info Exchange in 2019 to make sure that safety and smooth operations were protected as the large scale project required a high percentage of the workforce being contractors, increasing the risk of the project whilst the liability for the safety of contractors remained with LCA.
Alcumus Info Exchange permit to work software helps a range of sectors to efficiently manage contractors and improve situational awareness in relevant departments, offering three unique permit types, based on the nature and scope of work, so every job has a well-suited permit (new or existing assets, planned or reactive maintenance tasks, and long or short duration projects).
Each permit type captures all information required to comply with the associated regulations so that they are ready for approval. By applying conditional logic, contractors are prompted for additional information. If tasks are deemed high-risk, they are required to say what appropriate precautions are taken, and how they will mitigate the risks to make sure that the contractor is compliant with all associated regulations.
Using a contractor’s checked-in or checked-out status, users can see live information about the status of the work activities performed by contractors. As details of a contractor’s previous permits are remembered by the software, when contractors return to site a ticket can be raised requesting permission to work from the relevant departments, removing repetitive administration from both sides.
A report by Verdantix, which explores the adoption of operational excellence technologies at prominent industrial firms, focused on LCA’s transformation from its legacy permit to work system when LCA became the winner of the transport category at its 2020 Operational Excellence Innovation Awards. The insights show that after just four months of usage, the Alcumus Info Exchange system had handled over 800 permit requests for LCA. Users who traditionally struggled with the legacy system have made the largest gains. The software’s initial implementation went smoothly due to the intuitive design. This is especially important for contractors who are attending the site infrequently or for the first time.
The streamlined process has reduced administrative work for LCA departments approving the applications and the contractors applying for the permits themselves. Highly detailed and insightful reports give managers insight into the strengths and weaknesses in the airport’s development strategy, helping to implement improvements in safety and operational efficiency.
To further improve worker safety through work authorisation and electronic permit-to-work, the recent acquisition of Banyard Solutions, developer of e-permits and permit-to-work system, further adds to the portfolio of Alcumus risk management solutions, helping over 60 blue-chip clients in the UK and abroad.
Register for our webinar on Thursday 3rd December with London City Airport where they will discuss the challenges they faced when implementing Permit to Work software and the lessons learned.