During a commercial relocation, it’s tempting to focus on things like cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and logistics. Naturally, you want the move to happen as expediently as possible, with minimal disruption to your business operations. But in addition to efficiency, it’s also important to think about safety. Simply put, hiring a moving partner who isn’t safety-forward can endanger your employees, your customers, your physical assets, and the overall success of the relocation.

Why Review Supplier Safety?

As such, we recommend taking stock of a moving vendor’s safety protocols before hiring them. Consider:

  • Movers operate on your property, and around your clients and employees.
  • They also drive vehicles on your property and on public roadways on your behalf.
  • Much of their work occurs during regular business hours.
  • Good safety performance is an indication of a well-run business.
  • Safety is a key factor in the supplier’s cost structure.
  • Promoting safety is moral and ethical business practice.

These are just a few of the reasons why it’s so important that you regard supplier safety as a top priority when planning your relocation.

How to Review Supplier Safety

There are a few considerations to keep in mind when reviewing the safety protocols of your commercial relocation partner. Here are 4 indicators your commercial mover is not safe.

1) Determine whether the supplier is contract-based or employee-based.

The first thing to keep in mind is that most suppliers, particularly in California, use subcontractors instead of direct employees. Moving companies have much less control over subcontractors when compared with direct employees, however, as the subcontractors qualify as a separate legal entity. This doesn’t mean that companies with subcontractor-based models are inherently unsafe, but it is harder to manage subcontractors and to impose safety protocols on them.

2) Ask whether the company has a safety officer.

If the mover has their own in-house EHS or safety director, that’s a good sign that they take safety seriously. Engage safety personnel in your review process, asking them about their safety criteria and about any special standards that might apply to clients from your industry.

3) Review lagging indicators.

Another important step is to review lagging indicators, which denote past performance. There are a couple of specific indicators we’d highlight.

Review Experience Modification Rate (EMR)

EMR is a workers comp measure used in calculating risk and premiums.

  • The average for every industry is 1.0.
  • Higher than 1 indicates below average performance.
  • Less than 1 indicates above average performance.
  • You can request a letter from the insurer, providing you with EMR data.

Review OSHA Logs

We’d also recommend you to review OSHA logs for past incident rates.

4) Review leading indicators.

If lagging indicators speak to past performance issues, leading indicators tell you something about preventative measures that are in place. Specifically, get an overview of the supplier’s safety program. Review their internal policies, assess whether they have any safety personnel, and inquire how often they conduct safety training.

Investigate fleet management protocols, too. Do they conduct vehicle inspections? What are their driver clearance procedures? And how old is the fleet? Older fleets tend to bring a higher risk level of accident and injury.

Put Safety First During Your Move

Safety is a critical concern during any commercial relocation. Corovan has decades of experience prioritizing the safety of personnel, clients, and physical assets. With any questions, reach out to us directly.