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The manufacturer’s organisation MakeUk has announced a partnership with Alcumus SafeContractor to decrease workplace accidents.

The Health and Executive (HSE) says that were over 500,000 non-fatal workplace accidents in 2018/19, many caused by unsafe working practices. Manufacturers often use contractors to help get products to market quickly, but there can be safety issues if the contractor has a low-health and safety standard.

The new initiative between MakeUK and Alcumus SafeContractor will vet contractors to make sure that they have appropriate health and safety and ethical standards, and do not violate modern slavery laws.

Gemma Archibald of Alcumus SafeContarctor describes the new service:

“The SafeContractor online portal enables organisations to manage and source the best contractors to minimise risks and transform their supply chain into a competitive advantage.”

She says that the data provided enables manufacturers to only use ethical contractors that contribute to their sustainable business growth. She added that manufacturers can research contractors themselves to assess their ethical and safety standards, but this is an expensive administrative burden.

Manufacturers can monitor the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) for contractors working on their sites, but until this partnership was set up, it was not always easy to assess the health and safety practices of the contractor, or how well they trained their staff in safe working practices.

MakeUK says that only using contractors accredited by the new scheme will be beneficial when making trade deals post-Brexit. UK companies need to demonstrate that they are competitive without lowering health and safety standards.

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