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Beyond the Bid

5 Questions Processors Should Ask to Select a Qualified and Safe Contractor

5 questions processors should ask contractors

Here at Rodem, we are regularly involved in a variety of bid packages from mom and pop processors to internationally recognized brands. We see everything from the strictest in the biz to the most lax safety qualifications placed on contractors. From our experience in executing installations and fabrications, we have composed a list of questions to help weed out the contractors who don’t focus on safety and find the most qualified group for your project.

There is more to a project than the lowest bidder. Remember a safe and professional contractor team offers the experience needed to complete your next installment on schedule and on budget. Start screening your contractors to get the best of the best on board for your next plant project.

1. What types of projects are you interested in bidding in our facility and can you provide references?

  • Not all stainless steel contractors are the same. Previous work in one sanitary facility doesn’t necessarily serve as a qualification for all processes. When screening contractors, ask them not only for at least three references of past customers, but also ask them for info on a specific project at that customer and a description of the job. Be sure to ask them for the approximate value or annual contract amount. A contractor that only performs $10,000 worth of work a year is most likely not suited for your $1,000,000 project. 

2. Do you have a Drug Free Safety Program for your employees?

  • Drug Free programs and drug testing by contractors not only shows their commitment to employee safety and health, but also ensures productivity, accident prevention and loss control. 

3. What type of safety training do your employees receive weekly, monthly, annually?

  • A company that has dedicated safety and health goals will be able to quickly provide you with a list of safety certifications that their employees are required to maintain and a training schedule. In addition to typical OSHA 10 hour training that covers the basics, be sure to ask about confined space entry and emergency retrieval, Haz-Com, fall protection, lock-out-tag-out, fork and boom lift licenses and any other specific requirements that apply to your facility’s working environment.

4. Can I get copies of your training programs and documentation of training?

  • Dedicated companies will be able to show you up-to-date documentation of training. When looking for proof of OSHA 10 hour training, remember that a printed certificate from the training company is not valid proof of training. OSHA issues each person a card with an individual identification specific to that individual. Even if the contractor has paid for the OSHA training, they are not allowed to hold the original OSHA cards. Each of their trained employees should have the OSHA issued card on hand. Although OSHA 10 Hour training doesn’t technically “expire,” it is recommended by safety professionals that the training is refreshed every three years to ensure compliance with any regulation changes. 

5. Do you have a full-time dedicated Environmental, Health, and Safety Coordinator on staff at your company?

  • A dedicated, internal safety person ensures that the contractor works on a continual basis to ensure their safety programs, training, practices, tools, facilities and employees are compliant with today’s standards. This is a great indicator to see if the contractor puts safety at the forefront of their priorities or treats it as an ancillary item. A full-time staff Environmental, Health, and Safety Coordinator means a company is dedicated to safety and health of their employees. 

Get more info about Rodem’s safety and business certifications here or call our EHS Coordinator, Katie at 800-543-7312. See how our team meets your facility’s criteria. 


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