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Research reports

Managing safety in outsourced relationships

Research reveals workplace safety and health implications of outsourcing, as conducted by Dr Colin Pilbeam from Cranfield University and funded by IOSH.

This study allowed researchers to explore outsourcing practices that vary when working with different types of contractors and focused on the relationship between client firms and the main sub-contractor. 

The researchers conducted a series of seven case studies in three global companies operating in the engineering, pharmaceutical and logistics sectors. These companies outsourced a variety of activities including construction and facilities management to other global companies.

Watch the 2019 Conference video in Birmingham and Dr Colin Pilbeam discussing how safety is managed in outsourced relationships.

 

Outsourcing is common practice in organisations. Despite the strategic importance of this decision the management of contractors is often ineffective, especially in relation to safety. The session will challenge you to consider three key questions: - what do contractors do for your organisation? - how do they differ from your organisation? - where do you put your effort when managing them? We will address these three key questions demonstrating how the frameworks developed from IOSH-funded research can be applied in practice to achieve improvements in contractor safety performance. Speakers: Colin Pilbeam, Reader in Safety Leadership, Cranfield University Ken Anderson, Director of Governance UK&I, Siemens Energy Limited

Have a read of the full report and summary report below on the findings and the key learning points of Dysfunctional processes and fractured relationships in managing safety in outsourced relationships:

Managing safety in outsourced relationships - Summary report

This research explores how outsourcing practices vary when working with different types of contractors across various global companies.

Download PDF 1.5 MB
Managing safety in outsourced relationships - Full report

This research explores how outsourcing practices vary when working with different types of contractors across various global companies.

Download PDF 1.3 MB

 

Further information

You can also join in on a series of blogs produced by Dr Colin Pilbeam that provide further insights on how occupational safety and health is managed in outsourced relationships and how the research project progressed. 

Read the series of blogs

A presentation was also delivered at the 2017 IOSH Conference, providing solutions to the challenges of managing contractor safety. 

Watch the presentation

Related research

You may also be interested in the findings of previous IOSH research: The limits of influence, Networks of influence: practising safety leadership in low hazard environments and Understanding the role of supply chains in influencing health and safety management and regulation.

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