24 April 2008
Buyers have been warned to audit vendors regularly to improve safety in the supply chain.
Speaking at a conference earlier this month, Nigel Bowker, health and safety executive manager - procurement & supply chain at BP, said the passing of the recent corporate manslaughter law had "raised the stakes" for buyers and they will need to have a firm grip on the safety of their supply chain.
"Managers need to know what's going on with contractors and the only way to do this is with an effective audit programme. A whole range of risks should be audited, but you have to ensure they are the right ones." Bowker used BP's auditing process as an example: "Suppliers account for the greatest amount of risk at BP - 90 per cent of injuries happen to contractors because they are in the frontline. As BP is responsible, we build contractors into our legislation and audit programme."
He added purchasers should compile a risk control register to help identify more common incidents.