We operate in a competitive industry and all organisations need to ensure their tenders are hitting the mark in terms of content, review, client requirements, legislation and presentation. These are all critical components when it comes to winning bids.

Over my health & safety journey, I have spent considerable time reviewing tender submissions on behalf of clients to ensure that potential contractors and subsequent sub-contractors have an appropriate Health & Safety Management System in place covering:

  • Health & Safety policies & procedures;
  • Risk assessments;
  • Inductions/training/licences; and
  • Plant and equipment reliability/compliance.

There are a number of selection criteria that a contract owner will use to determine the best contractor for the job including cost, experience, suitability, insurances and commitment to health & safety.  Often submissions look good with glossy photos and copies of awards but not enough focus and consideration is given to the health & safety component.

When you are reviewing your tenders, make sure you take the time to check that you have addressed each of the following items from a safety perspective and ensure you include:

  • Your current health and safety management system information;
  • Copies of recently developed risk assessments that are relevant to the tender;
  • An up to date training/licence matrix of staff who may be undertaking the work; and
  • Evidence that your plant and equipment is serviced and maintained in accordance with manufacturer/legislative requirements.

By covering these items within your tender submission, you are demonstrating both your understanding of the importance of health & safety and your commitment towards ensuring your organisation and/or project will meet the required standards.

Legislation requires the principal contractor to ensure all contractors and sub-contractors manage their health & safety in accordance with risk. From a business owners’ perspective, it is therefore critical to ensure any submission has the appropriate health & safety management system in place before even considering some of the other critical criteria.

It only takes one serious incident and the consequences can be catastrophic:

  • Loss of life or serious injury;
  • Financial ruin for all parties, including fines from Government watchdogs;
  • Loss of reputation; or
  • Significant workload following up including investigations.

Do you spend enough time looking at the health & safety component of submissions???