Five quick questions with a H&S advisor
17 Oct 2016
With more than 200 contractors a year across a range of challenging sites, the Waimakariri District Council adopted Site Safe's prequalification tool, SiteWise, to streamline its approach to contractor health and safety management.
We talked to the council’s Health and Safety Advisor, Charlotte Browne, about how SiteWise helps them manage their contractors, and find contractors with good health and safety policies.
What kind of work do you do?
We have multiple sites across the district, and our operations cover many different activities including infrastructure projects, waste management, water management (storm, drinking and waste water), roading network development and maintenance, park development and maintenance, provision of recreational facilities and libraries, regulatory functions, planning and policy, building works regulation and inspection.
What was your approach to contractor health and safety management before adopting SiteWise?
We had varied approaches to contractor health and safety management – ranging from a formal prequalification processes for many of our large infrastructure projects, through to no prequalification for some of our smaller or regular maintenance contracts. As we have over 200 contractors across multiple business units that we use during any one year, it was identified that we needed a more standardised approach to prequalifying our contractors prior to them working for us.
How has SiteWise helped you?
We require that all of our physical works contractors are prequalified via SiteWise. We use it as part of a larger contractor management process, which is scaled to suit the size and risk profile of the contract. So far we have found it easy to use from a principal’s perspective, and we particularly like the way that it has a ‘traffic light’ indication of the contractor’s score. Some of our contract managers are also using it as a source of information to find new contractors so that we can request quotes for work.
What are the benefits?
SiteWise has helped us achieve the goal of prequalifying our physical works contractors prior to them undertaking work for us. It has given us a great deal more visibility as to their health and safety performance and commitment, and has also been a helpful tool to communicate what good practice in health and safety looks like. We are only in the early stages of using SiteWise, but we can see the potential to develop its use further. We have noted that many contractors we are working with have improved their health and safety documentation and systems in response to our requirement to prequalify with SiteWise.
What was it like working with the Site Safe team?
The staff have been helpful and responsive, and have supported us in our process of implementation. From a usability perspective it is functional and simple, and the team at SiteWise are always receptive to suggestions and feedback for possible improvements.