Contractors and Suppliers

Keeping the Chain Safe: Contractors and Suppliers - Compliance in the Food, Drinks and Tobacco Industry

The food, drinks, and tobacco industry thrives on a complex web of partnerships between manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and a vast network of contractors and suppliers. While these collaborations drive innovation and efficiency, they also introduce a unique set of compliance challenges. Ensuring the safety of the entire supply chain becomes paramount to avoid costly disruptions, reputational damage, and even legal repercussions.

This blog dives deep into the legalities and best practices surrounding contractors and suppliers in the food, drinks, and tobacco industry. We'll also explore how MAKROSAFE, an authorised dealership of SafetyWallet, can empower employers to achieve comprehensive compliance across their entire supply chain.

The Legal Landscape: Employer Responsibilities towards Contractors and Suppliers

South African employers in the food, drinks, and tobacco industry have a legal duty to ensure the safety of all workers on their premises, including contractors' employees. This responsibility stems from the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) 85 of 1993.

Here's what the act entails for employers:

Duty to Provide a Safe Work Environment: You must take reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of all employees, including contractors' personnel.

Risk Assessments: Conducting thorough risk assessments that consider the activities of contractors and suppliers is crucial.

Communication and Coordination: Effectively communicate safety expectations and procedures to contractors and ensure proper coordination during shared workspace activities.

Competency and Training: Verify that contractors possess the necessary skills and training relevant to the work they'll be performing on your premises.

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Best Practices for Managing Contractor and Supplier Safety

Beyond legal obligations, implementing best practices fosters a culture of safety throughout your supply chain:

Prequalification Process: Establish a robust prequalification process to evaluate potential contractors' safety records, insurance coverage, and training programs.

Contractual Obligations: Formalise safety expectations and responsibilities within contracts. This includes outlining contractor safety plans, incident reporting procedures, and consequences for non-compliance.

Joint Safety Meetings: Regularly convene joint safety meetings with contractors to discuss potential risks, share best practices, and ensure everyone is on the same page regarding safety protocols.

Onboarding and Training: Provide onboarding training for contractors' employees on your site-specific safety procedures and emergency protocols.

Ongoing Monitoring and Auditing: Conduct periodic inspections of contractor activities to verify compliance with safety standards and address any identified issues promptly.

Common Mistakes and Fails to Avoid

Failing to prioritise contractor safety can lead to several pitfalls:

Accidents and Injuries: Inadequate oversight of contractors can result in accidents and injuries, leading to hefty compensation claims and legal battles.

Work Stoppages: Serious safety violations can lead to work stoppages by safety inspectors, causing delays and production losses.

Reputational Damage: News of safety incidents involving contractors can severely damage your brand image and consumer trust.

Legal Fines and Penalties: Non-compliance with OHSA regulations can result in significant fines and penalties for both employers and contractors.

If you have any questions, please feel free to speak to one of our Experts

How MAKROSAFE with SafetyWallet Can Help You Achieve Compliance

MAKROSAFE, an authorised dealership of SafetyWallet, understands the complexities of managing contractor and supplier safety in the food, drinks, and tobacco industry. They offer a suite of solutions to empower employers to achieve comprehensive compliance:

Contractor Prequalification Support:  MAKROSAFE can assist in developing a robust prequalification process to ensure you select safety-conscious contractors.

Safety Management System Implementation:  They can help you implement a comprehensive safety management system that integrates contractors and suppliers into your overall safety protocols.

Safety Training and Awareness Programs: MAKROSAFE provides training courses for your employees and contractors on hazard identification, safe work practices, and regulatory requirements.

SafetyWallet Software for Streamlined Management: SafetyWallet, the software solution offered by MAKROSAFE, streamlines contractor and supplier safety management. Here's how:

Contractor Management Module: Maintain a centralised database of contractor information, including safety certificates, insurance documents, and training records.

Inspection Management: Schedule and manage inspections of contractor activities, assign inspectors, and record findings electronically.

Incident Reporting and Tracking: Facilitate efficient incident reporting by contractors and track their resolution to identify trends and areas for improvement.

Corrective Action Management: Assign corrective actions for identified workplace hazards and track their completion by contractors.

Reporting and Analytics: Generate reports to monitor contractor safety performance and identify areas needing focus.

Ensuring safety within your organisation is not just about ticking boxes; it's about fostering a collaborative environment where everyone prioritises the well-being of workers. By partnering with MAKROSAFE and utilising SafetyWallet, you can achieve comprehensive compliance, mitigate risks, and build a stronger, safer food, drinks, and tobacco supply chain. Here's a quick recap of the benefits:

Reduced Risk of Accidents and Injuries: Proactive safety management reduces workplace accidents and injuries, leading to a healthier workforce and lower compensation costs.

Improved Efficiency and Productivity: Streamlined communication and management of contractor safety with SafetyWallet minimises disruptions and enhances overall operational efficiency.

Enhanced Brand Reputation: Prioritising safety throughout your supply chain demonstrates your commitment to ethical practices and fosters consumer trust in your brand.

Demonstrated Regulatory Compliance: SafetyWallet provides an auditable trail of contractor safety management activities, easing regulatory audits and inspections.

Remember, a safe supply chain is a successful supply chain. By taking proactive steps to ensure contractor and supplier safety, you can create a win-win situation for your business, your partners, and most importantly, your employees.


MAKROSAFE is here to help you navigate the complexities of contractor and supplier safety. Contact them today to learn how SafetyWallet can empower you to achieve all-round safety across your entire food, drinks, and tobacco supply chain.

Reach out to MAKROSAFE today, and let's collaboratively fortify your Food, Drinks, and Tobacco workforce against safety hazards!
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Here's how MAKROSAFE can help you achieve safety excellence:

Schedule your complimentary Food, Drinks, and Tobacco Industry Safety Consultation today! Visit our website or call us at 0861 444 777.

Empower your workforce to work safely, every day!

By prioritising safety, you can create a more productive, profitable, and reputationally sound workplace within the South African Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry. Let's work together to make safety a core value, not an afterthought.

Let's empower your workforce to work safely, every day! Unlock a Safer Educational Realm with SafetyWallet Benefits.

As a subscriber of SafetyWallet, you're entitled to a 25% discount on our health and safety courses. The value of safety cannot be overstated, and we're committed to supporting institutions in fostering a secure environment. Take advantage of your SafetyWallet subscription and enhance safety standards within your institution. Our courses are also available for purchase on My Safety Shop, ensuring easy access to the training you need.

MAKROSAFE, as a proud SafetyWallet Authorised Dealership of SafetyWallet, offers a free consultation to assess your current training needs and develop a customised training plan. Contact us today and let's build a brighter, safer future for the South African Food, Drinks, and Tobacco Industry, together. Click on the image below to find a SafetyWallet Solution that suits your business (Branch/Site specific) and get the 21 benefits that includes FREE Health and Safety E-Learning for all staff along with the subscription:


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