Keeping Our Contractors Safe

Contractor safety is extremely important to our entire Southwire family, and we spend a great deal of time and resources on our comprehensive Contractor Safety program. Our system for monitoring and improving contractor safety has been modeled after the OSHA VPP Health & Safety Management System—Element of Management Leadership & Employee Involvement of Contract Employees.

Southwire wanted a comprehensive, sustainable system to support answering the following question: When selecting on-site contractors/subcontractors, how does the site evaluate the contractors’ safety and health management system and performance (including rates)?

Southwire Contractor Safety Scorecard

Southwire uses a third-party vendor to assist us in the safety prequalification of our high-risk contractors working on-site. We use the new Southwire contractor scorecard shown below.

Safety Element Current New
Experience Modification Rate 5 5
RAVS Safety Programs 50 30
Safety Grade 45 25
Evaluation Report 10
Drug/Alcohol & Background Checks 15
Insurance 0

Some highlights from Southwire’s contractor safety scorecard include:

  • Requiring contractors to submit their Experience Modification Rating (EMR) and awarding them the full five points if it is <1.
  • Scoring contractors on the safety programs that they should have in place based on the work type they identified in a required and extensive questionnaire.
  • Scoring contractors on that questionnaire by awarding points for certain questions, such as whether or not their TRIR is below their NAICS code industry average or if they have received any safety or environmental citation or violations.
  • Scoring contractors on whether or not they perform drug/alcohol and criminal background checks on their employees and the safety training documentation for their work type.

Southwire uses all of this information to calculate a safety dashboard score for each contractor. Contractors with a safety score of A or B may work with Southwire; our Sourcing department tracks and utilizes this score. If the contractor has a score of C or F, they must put other measures into place before a Southwire site can use them; however, Southwire prefers not to use them or to place them on a safety improvement plan.

In our continuous process improvement efforts, Southwire introduced on-site evaluations to the scoring system, providing a running average of all evaluations submitted for a period of 12 months. As a contractor completes a project, a Southwire project manager completes a contractor evaluation report on how safely they performed the work—this goes beyond pre-qualification to show how safely contractors work on-site. Moreover, we have implemented incident reporting to their grade as well.

With such strong safety emphasis, training and requirements imposed on our contractors and in using the third-party vendor to assist, review and verify documents submitted by our contractors, Southwire’s average contractor TRIR for 2014 is 1.84 which is low compared to our industry peers.