Improving the safety performance of both employees and contractors was identified as a top priority for driving organization's contractor management goals, according to a recent Contractor Management Survey by ISN, a global leader in contractor and supplier information management.

"The survey data confirms what we've seen in the industry; leading organizations drive a safety-first culture and maintain a documented strategic plan for their contractor management objectives," said Dag Yemenu, Senior Vice President of Technical Services at ISN. "By establishing a clear communication strategy, incorporating a risk-ranking process and integrating internal business processes, a sustainable contractor management system is one that enables you to meet your safety and compliance objectives while promoting a culture of transparency, partnership and continuous improvement."

Improving business continuity and operational excellence was also ranked as a key driver for meeting contactor management objectives.

Outsourcing to increase

The top challenge for companies as they contemplate meeting their contractor management objects in the next 12-18 months: the shortage of a skilled and competent workforce. Not surprisingly, 42 percent of the companies surveyed expect their need for outsourcing work to third-party contractors to increase, half of which anticipate double-digit increases.

For its survey, ISN collected insights from 204 decision makers at 161 companies that hire contractors in capital-intensive industries throughout North America including Oil & Gas, Agriculture, Food & Beverage, Utilities, Manufacturing and Pharmaceuticals/Healthcare.

The survey was designed to provide a contractor management benchmark which helps large companies, including prime contractors that rely on subcontractors, drive continual improvement in their efforts toward a zero-incident workplace.

Risk management is key

"As organizations outsource more work to third-party contractors, managing those contractors at both an individual and company level is increasingly important to mitigate and manage risks," said Joseph Eastin, President and Chief Executive Officer of ISN. "Internal and external constraints such as competing internal priorities, shortage of qualified workers and an increased reliance on subcontractor relationships continue to put pressure on companies that hire contractors. It is essential to have a strategic contractor management plan in place that ensures work is being completed in a safe, reliable and sustainable manner."

Eight times more companies expect to use more contractor work hours in the future than those that expect to use less contractors. Of those surveyed, almost half of organizations reported using contractors to complete between 40-100 percent of their on-site work.

According to the survey, these companies, referred to as Hiring Organizations throughout the report, felt their inability to ensure subcontractor competency and compliance is a significant risk as they work toward achieving their contractor management objectives. This threat was followed by process safety management concerns, including insufficient change management processes.

About ISN

To learn more, visit About ISN. Visit the ISN Publications page on ISNetworld to request your copy of these reports.