Ensuring ISO 45001 Compliance in Your External Contractor Network 

27/10/2023by admin0Read: 4 minutes

Contractors play a pivotal role in the operations of many organisations. To ensure the effectiveness of an ISO 45001:2018 management system, particularly in meeting the requirements of clause, a robust contractor management procedure is indispensable. This procedure serves as a structured framework that organisations can employ to guarantee the safety and compliance of their contractors.

It outlines the precise criteria for contractor safety and compliance, with the flexibility to align with the organisation’s unique needs.

Furthermore, this procedure serves as a safeguard for the organisation’s interests and acts as a preventative measure against potential legal liabilities.


A contractor refers to the vendor with whom a contract or order has been established for the execution of specific work. This also encompasses all tiers of subcontractors engaged by the primary contractor for tasks associated with the service contract or other binding agreements.

Contract for Service

A contract for service is characterised by:

  1. Involvement in a professional, trade, or goods and services supply.
  2. The contractor’s authority to hire and dismiss their staff and subcontractors.
  3. Provision of necessary equipment and materials by the contractor to carry out their tasks.
  4. The contractor’s prerogative to delegate work to another individual, provided they are adequately trained and informed about the job requirements.
  5. Limited or no direct control and supervision by the company (client) over the individuals performing the work.

Contractor Management 

Effective contractor management holds significant weight in an organisation’s overall success. The competence in handling contractors can significantly influence financial performance. In today’s economic landscape, organisations increasingly rely on contractors to provide mission-critical services. Therefore, achieving precision in this aspect is paramount.

The process of contractor management initiates with the recognition of the demand for external services. After pinpointing this requirement, the organisation or individual should proceed by identifying prospective contractors capable of delivering the necessary services. Subsequently, an assessment of these potential contractors becomes crucial to discern the most suitable candidate for fulfilling the requirements.

Prior to issuing any contract, it is imperative to engage in a comprehensive pre-contracting process, encompassing, among other aspects:

  • Defining the scope of work and expectations.
  • Allocating responsibilities for the work.
  • Identifying any internal training requirements.
  • Establishing safe work procedures.
  • Ensuring compliance with the OH&S management system.
  • Conducting risk assessments.
  • Managing materials and equipment.
  • Implementing inspections and auditing procedures.
  • Monitoring performance.
  • Adhering to insurance requirements.
  • Evaluating competencies.
  • Overseeing work processes.
  • Establishing criteria for final completion.

ISO 45001 Management Review

In the context of external contractors, an ISO 45001 management review is crucial and ensures that the OH&S standards are consistently applied not only within the organization but also by external parties involved in your projects. This helps identify any gaps, potential risks, or areas of improvement, promoting a safer work environment and legal compliance across the entire network.

Contractor Non-Conformance

A contractor’s non-conformance denotes a failure to fulfil one or more stipulated contract requirements. These non-conformances can manifest at any stage of the contract and may range from major to minor discrepancies. To effectively address contract non-conformances, several key considerations are essential.

To start with, it is crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of the nature of the non-conformance and its underlying causes.

Additionally, one must assess the potential ramifications stemming from the non-conformance and initiate requisite corrective measures.

Furthermore, establishing preventive measures to avert any recurrence is imperative. Typically, the contractor is held accountable for rectifying a non-conformance within a predefined timeframe mutually agreed upon by the client.

Contents of an ISO 45001 Contractor Management Procedure

The key contents of an effective ISO 45001 contractor management process:

1) Approval:

This section outlines the procedure’s approval process and the key personnel responsible for authorization.

2) Purpose:

Clearly defines the objective and intention behind the contractor management process.

3) Scope and Objectives:

Details the extent of the process’s coverage and the specific goals it aims to achieve.

4) Terms and Definitions:

Provides a glossary of relevant terminology for clarity and consistency.

5) Roles and Responsibilities:

Clearly define the duties and obligations of individuals involved in the process, both within the organization and among contractors.

6) Procedures:

Outlines the step-by-step process for contractor management, ensuring a structured approach.

7) Introduction:

Provides an overview and context for the contractor management process.

8) Authority to Engage:

Describes the process for authorizing and initiating contractor engagement.

9) Pre-Engagement:

Covers the preparatory steps required before engaging a contractor, such as identifying needs and assessing risks.

10) Qualifications and Experience:

Outlines the criteria for evaluating a contractor’s qualifications and prior experience.

11) Selection of Contractors:

Details the process of choosing the most suitable contractor for the task.

12) Induction:

Addresses the onboarding and orientation process for contractors, ensuring they are aware of safety and procedural requirements.

13) Permit to Work:

If applicable, explain how permits to work are issued and managed during contractor activities.

14) Monitoring the Process:

Describes how the progress of contractor work is monitored to ensure compliance and performance.

15) Non-Conformances and OH&S Performance:

Covers the handling of non-conformances and how they impact occupational health and safety.

16) Contractor Consultation and Communication:

Highlights the importance of open communication and collaboration with contractors.

17) Related Procedures, Forms, and Documents:

References any supplementary materials or documentation integral to the process.

18) Review Criteria:

Specifies the criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the contractor management process.

19) Record Management:

Addresses the systematic recording and retention of relevant information and documentation.

20) References:

Lists any external references, standards, or regulations used as guidelines for the process.

These sections collectively form a comprehensive and well-structured contractor management framework for an organisation.

Benefits of ISO 45001 Contractor Management Framework

This procedure serves as a pivotal tool in the meticulous assessment and selection of contractors and other involved stakeholders, all in alignment with legal requirements.

Through the establishment and perpetual maintenance of these stringent criteria and procedures, an organization can confidently pinpoint and efficiently mitigate occupational health and safety risks associated with contracted endeavours.

This comprehensive procedure is universally applicable, encompassing all contracted work activities and extending its purview to include sub-contractors operating under a ‘contract for service’ framework. It guarantees that the selection process is rigorous, precise, and fully compliant with legal mandates, promoting an environment of safety and competence.

For more information, stay tuned to our website.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news, product updates and Event updates.

Copyright @ 2023. All Rights reserved.