What You Need To Know From A Subcontractor

We have talked at great length about protecting your company from the dangers presented by subcontractors, but we wanted to share some business ideas with you to help your business get more productivity and profitability from the subcontractors you use. As risk experts, we know the importance of asking questions about insurance and safety, and we have covered those questions at great length. But now we wanted to act like good business partners and give you a few key business questions you should ask your subcontractors before signing any agreements with them.

What methods does your subcontractor use to hire its own subcontractors?

We have talked at length about your responsibilities to a job owner when it comes to hiring subcontractors and how you are responsible for everything your subcontractor does. We recommend many ways to screen subcontractors and make sure you are hiring quality companies, but there is one step that has been left out. What do you do when you have the utmost confidence in your subcontractor, but your subcontractor hires unreliable subcontractors of its own?

This can seem like a lot of layers of confusion, but the concept is actually simple. You are still responsible for the work your subcontractors do, even if your subcontractors hire subcontractors. That is why you want to ask about the method used to hire subcontractors and what your subcontractor looks for in the businesses they work with.

Does your subcontractor keep its certifications updated?

Most construction professions require some sort of licensing or certification to be done legally. While you are looking into the safety procedures of your subcontractors, you should also make sure all of their necessary licenses and certifications are in place. It is a process that can be done quickly, but it could save you a lot of money in fines and lost production time.

What is your subcontractor’s worker’s compensation experience modification factor?

A worker’s compensation experience modification factor of 1.0 or less tells you that your subcontractor takes the safety and health of its employees seriously. Any number that is higher indicates that you are going to have problems getting this subcontractor to complete work on time and on budget. Asking for your subcontractor’s experience modification factor is a simple process, but it can be costly if you forget to do it.

What type of responsible parties are onsite for your subcontractor?

It takes all types of people to make up this world, and that saying applies to subcontractors as well. Until you meet a subcontractor that does not hire or use supervisors, you may not believe they even exist. To cut costs, some companies try to get away with not having a certified supervisor on every job. Always ask about site supervision, and always get a copy of the supervisor’s updated certification as well.

Before you hire any subcontractor, it is in your best interests to have a long discussion about a wide variety of important topics. We always help our customers to develop a subcontractor checklist that makes sure that every important topic gets discussed, and every important piece of paperwork is collected. If you try to cut corners by hiring a subcontractor that is unfit for the job, then it could wind up costing your company a lot of money and harming your professional reputation.