How to monitor the health and safety performance of airside contractors

How to monitor the health and safety performance of airside contractors

The dynamic nature of airports means that contractors, or short-term temporary staff, are commonplace. Whether contractors are employed to scale up the workforce to meet demand in peak periods or increase manpower to help with airport improvements or changes, contractors form part of the overall employment picture at airports.

With so many contractors working airside, communicating health and safety policies and managing health and safety performance and procedures can be complex. It raises the question – how can organisations effectively monitor contractors’ health and safety performance?

Arrange a pre-start meeting

Coordination and communication between management and contractors are essential. Before a contractor’s work begins, a meeting should be held with all relevant parties, including the contracting staff and representatives from the organisation they are hired by. Depending on the situation, other personnel from around the airport may need to be consulted too. It’s crucial that no assumptions are made, and that the contractor ensures their own health and safety plans are in-sync with the broader policies and safety culture of the company employing the contractor and of the airport itself. In this meeting, a clear plan of the contractor’s management and supervision needs to be established, and arrangements for an induction should be arranged if necessary.

Carry out a joint risk assessment

Some airport risks may not be immediately apparent to a contractor, especially if they’ve not worked airside before, so arranging a joint risk assessment provides an opportunity to talk openly about hazards and risks. It’s also a useful way of sharing method statements and safe systems of work. Ensuring the contractors have the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the job they’re going to do should be discussed. If it’s a long term contractor, the process of reordering PPE should be addressed.

Include contractor’s activity in inspections and checks

Holding contractors to the same safety standards as the wider workforce is essential to maintain high safety standards. A contractor’s work should always be subject to the same inspections and checks that are in place for others, and they should feel a sense of shared responsibility for airside safety. Contractors should also follow organisational and airport procedures for reporting airside accidents and incidents, and should understand when the Civil Aviation Authority’s Mandatory Occurrence Reports apply, as well as details about confidential safety reporting.

Hold progress meetings

Regular progress meetings with contractors can help flag any potential health and safety issues as they occur and before they become problematic. Regular check-ins can help ensure adherence to safety rules and remind contractors of an organisation’s safety culture.

Enforce consequences for non-compliance and unsatisfactory performance

If a contractor’s competence is adequately assessed before their appointment, the need to impose consequences for non-compliance and unsatisfactory safety performance becomes less likely. Requiring contractors to demonstrate previous health and safety performance – including references and pre-qualification questionnaires – is essential, as is a verifiable health and safety training record. If it’s deemed that a contractor’s lack of experience could lead to additional risks, an organisation should address these and plan for them before work commences.

Equipping all airside staff, permanent, temporary and contractors, with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is key to creating and maintaining a safe workplace. Contego Aviation Solutions stocks a vast range of protective clothing, PPE and corporate wear, including our own WEARMASTER® range. The friendly and expert team at Contego Aviation Solutions is always on hand to give advice and guidance on the right PPE and protective clothing for your needs. Contact us now on 0800 122 3323 or sales@contegoaviation.co.uk to discuss your requirements.

Contego Aviation Solutions is your one-stop manufacturer, supplier and distributor of safety clothing and PPE equipment for the aviation industry and more. Part of Contego Safety Solutions, Contego Aviation Solutions is the aviation industry protective clothing and equipment supplier that can offer it all.