As workplaces continue to bring workers back to the physical workplace in a post-COVID-19 environment, even if it’s only part time, they must ensure compliance issues are addressed. The cost of not doing so jeopardizes not only company assets but also, and more importantly, the safety of those in the workplace, including employees, contractors, and customers.
A survey that was discussed at a recent webinar session shows that contractors are not being properly screened. It advised facilities management professionals, along with those from other departments, to ensure contractors are properly screened and to not consider it purely an HR function.
The Facility Management Compliance Week 2022 session, entitled “Protecting the Workforce with Advanced Screening Solutions,” was sponsored by Traction Guest and was moderated by Roger Lall, Vice President of Product Marketing at Traction Guest, who was joined by Jackson Wood, Director of Industry Strategy for Descartes Visual Compliance.
The survey, Lall said, shows that contractors could be at the office more often than full-time employees, who might be working mostly remotely. Of the companies polled, he explained, the survey showed:
- 74% are not checking contractors’ health-related information.
- 67% are not checking contractors’ insurance credential details.
- 62% fail to check contractors’ chemical and equipment certifications.
- 55% were unaware of their contractors’ performance history.
Lall added that most of the time, when it comes to screening, people think of visitors and customers but forget about contractors.
Departments That Should Screen
Facilities management professionals should be responsible for screening contractors, especially at manufacturing facilities and research and development facilities, because they need to understand the unique needs of manufacturing contractors.
However, facilities management professionals should not feel they have to share screening responsibilities solely with the HR department. Wood believes that other departments in large companies should screen contractors based on their responsibilities, as well.
- Information technology
- Environment, health, and safety (EHS)
- Legal procurement
- Sales and marketing
By allowing contractors to work with their associated counterparts within an organization, silos can be broken down, Wood continued, adding that compliance can help an organization meet its growth objectives.
Facilities management personnel should perform an audit trail by checking manual and electronic logs to determine whether the contractor has a record of compliance with rules in the past.
Additionally, they should get written permission from contractors in order to run background checks. Information from an optimal background check should include:
- Identity: This ensures the individual is not trying to create a fake alias.
- Education history: This is to show whether the individual has the required degrees or certifications.
- Employment history: This allows the employer to look at an individual’s payroll records, promotions, terminations, etc., and get reviews from past employers.
- Criminal history: Hiring an individual who has a criminal record could be a risk to the company, but allow the individual to explain the history.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety records: An individual’s safety record should be analyzed, and only safe individuals should be hired.
- State and National Sex Offender list: For safety reasons, individuals on this list probably should not be hired.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Terrorist Watch list: For safety reasons, individuals on this list certainly should not be hired.
Facilities management personnel should work hard to ensure they collaborate with multiple departments as they screen contractors. To view “Protecting the Workforce with Advanced Screening Solutions” for free on demand, click here.