Safe Working by Contractors (OBUHSN-14)


The Oxford Brookes University Policy on Health and Safety, recognises the statutory duties imposed by the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the specific arrangements that must be made and provided to cater for known and assessed risks, either of a permanent nature, or which may arise from work undertakings, so as to ensure so far as it is reasonably practicable, the Health, Safety and Welfare of all persons who may be affected by these undertakings on University premises is addressed.

This document is intended to provide information, details, practical advice and guidance to all companies (Principal Contractors/Contractors), sole traders and providers of plant and equipment or any other services or undertakings that may be required or have been contracted for supply by any department of Oxford Brookes University.

Its details set out specific information and instruction that Oxford Brookes University requires companies, sole traders and providers of services to address when tendering for any works/projects.

Once any contract, service level agreement or provision of goods or services has been confirmed and awarded by Oxford Brookes University it requires that, in accordance with the award, all of the details and provisions of this document, its necessary procedures and methods, where applicable, are developed, implemented and maintained throughout the contract.

This document may be used to set out or develop procedures, methods and guidance for contracts, services and provision of goods.

Oxford Brookes University provides the information and guidance contained in this document in accordance with their duties and obligations of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act and all other applicable statutory legislation and regulation. It will be the responsibility of the Director of Estates and Facilities Management to maintain a list of contractors approved to carry out all varieties of building workThe list will be periodically reviewed and contractors will be removed as a result of, amongst other criteria, poor health and safety performance. This will be done after suitable written warnings.

Oxford Brookes University requires that contracted companies and providers of goods or services comply with all of their duties and responsibilities of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act and all other relevant legislation or regulations.


Emergency Instructions


Full details may be found in the University’s Fire & Evacuation Procedures. In summary:

Other emergencies which may require evacuation

In the event of other emergencies, for example, a serious chemical spillage, gas leak, or the discovery of a suspicious package, in the first instance, contact the University Contracts Manager, if they are unavailable, contact Security on 01865 60 3060.

Signing in of contractors, at university premises, for work outside contractor controlled sites

  • The University requires that all Contractors working on University controlled premises register their presence on site.
  • Signing in arrangements for Contractor Controlled Sites are given.
  • Contractors working in non-Contractor Controlled Sites are required to sign in and out at each location they are working and sign in and out for issue of keys. Keys are not to be removed from individual sites.
  • Locations for signing in and out and for collection of keys will be clarified by the contract manager
  • The Principal Contractors and Contractors shall instruct their staff that all areas not identified to them as work areas are prohibited, and only areas identified to them as authorised may be entered.

Arrangements before work commences

Construction design and management (CDM) regulations

This refers to work for which the The Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015 apply.

Risk assessments and method statements (RAMS)

Before the commencement of any work on the University’s sites the Principal Contractor or Contractor shall nominate competent persons to be responsible for the undertaking of suitable and sufficient Risk Assessments of all operations where risk is foreseeable and ensure that appropriate control measures are developed and incorporated into a Method Statement.

All method statements shall be developed in reasonable time to allow coordination of hazardous works to take place between the University Contract Manager and Principal Contractor/Contractor, and for liaison with appropriate University staff and advisors including where necessary the Principal Designer.

The objectives of Risk Assessments are to highlight project related hazards and ensure that these undertakings do not present uncontrolled risks to the University, students, staff, visitors and Principal Contractor or Contractor’s staff alike.

All risk assessments shall be in writing, they will follow the requirements detailed in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations and the five step guidance outlined in HSE INDG163 and shall be incorporated into the project Health and Safety Plan.

All risk assessments shall be reviewed regularly and revised by the Contractors as necessary to accommodate any changes in methods of working or circumstance.

Auditing and monitoring

The University may throughout any project or work carry out auditing or monitoring to ensure compliance by the Principal Contractor or Contractor of all applicable University Policies and Procedures. It may further audit and monitor the Principal Contractor or Contractor’s Project or Work and the Health and Safety Plan for compliance to all appropriate Health and Safety regulatory requirements. Audits and monitoring will be carried out by the University Contract Manager.

The University requires that the Principal Contractor or Contractor, undertake regular monitoring of their projects or works. Monitoring must be recorded and their results and details made available on request by the University Contract Manager or Principal Designer and be available within the Health and Safety Plan.

Any failure, faults or non-compliance of both any University Policies and Procedures or Health and Safety Regulatory requirement, found, highlighted or identified, must be addressed and rectified by the Principal Contractor or Contractor within an appropriate time scale. Details of the addressing of and rectification of those failures, faults and noncompliance must also be entered by the Principal Contractor or Contractor in site/project records.

Specified hazardous work activities

Isolation of and connection to services


There is a considerable network of services within the University premises and grounds. Great care is required to avoid possible damage, interruption or contamination of these. Services may be underground, overhead or building fitted installations, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Electrical power lines
  • Mains gas lines
  • Water supplies, pipes and tanks
  • Telephone lines/computer lines
  • Data cables
  • Fire alarms
  • Internal and mains drainage
  • Low and Medium Pressure heating systems.

All work carried out in the vicinity of or on these services that could result in their failure or interruption must be notified to the University Contracts Manager and a Safe System of Work developed and agreed before commencement of work.

In the event of damage to any of the services the Contractor shall immediately make the area safe and notify the University Contract Manager.

Contractors must not connect to, disconnect from, interfere with any services within the University without the permission of the appropriate Managers (Electrical, Mechanical or Systems). This permission should be obtained via the University Contract Manager and may need to be granted in writing in the form of a permit, transfer note or impairment form.

Sufficient notice should be given for a request for interruption of supply of services in order that suitable arrangements can be made, including notification to members of the University community. Arrangements for this will be made by the University Contracts Manager.

Waste Management

Contractors will ensure that their work areas are kept clean and tidy and will manage any waste produced as a result of their activities. For construction work, the Principal Contractor or Contractor will develop a Site Waste Management Plan at the design stage of the project. These plans must be available on site for inspection and must form part of the completed Health and Safety Plan for the project. The University has a waste target to recycle 90% of all demolition, refurbishment and construction waste. Contractors will be expected to be able to deliver these targets and waste figures will be reported on to the University’s Contract Manager, throughout the project’s lifetime.

Contractors are expected to meet the requirements of the following procedures and work instructions

  • EN103OP - Management of Waste
  • EN103W1 - Non-hazardous waste management
  • EN103W2 - Hazardous and WEEE waste management
  • EN104OP - Management of materials and resources.

These can be found on the University’s sustainability website.

See the section for Environmental Management System and Work Instructions.

Contractors shall not deposit any waste, wastewater, chemicals or any other substance into the University’s drains. The disposal of all waste, etc. arising from the works shall be by prior agreement with the University Contract Manager. Contractors must store and dispose of all of their waste products responsibly, ensuring waste is only handled or dealt with by authorised waste carriers and keep records (waste transfer notes/waste consignment notes) of all waste that have been transferred by the licensed carrier. Whenever waste materials are removed from site, the University Sustainability Team must be copied with the waste transfer notes and a copy of the waste carrier's licence by emailing

When the Contractor's work requires the use of a skip or similar container for the disposal of waste, prior agreement must be sought from the University Contract Manager for its positioning and for the arrangements for its delivery and removal from site. Preferably skips will be covered and lockable and will be secured at the end of each working day to prevent unauthorized use. Any Non-Lockable Skips are to be protected by a HERAS Fence, or similar, compound.

It is not permitted to make use of waste skips belonging to the University or to other contractors for disposal of waste.

For non-construction type work, limited quantities of non-hazardous waste, such as paper, small cardboard boxes etc may be disposed of in the University's waste bins, recycling or landfill, as appropriate.

The University is registered as a Recolight collection centre. With the agreement of the Electrical Services Manager, spent lamps from University premises may be disposed of using the Recolight facilities at Clive Booth Student Village or Harcourt Hill campus.

Spills of hazardous materials, such as oil, petrol, paints etc must be dealt with immediately and reported to the University Contract Manager. Care should be taken to ensure that spilled materials do not enter drains. The University's procedures for dealing with spills, or equivalent, should be followed. Such spills will be reported using the Report of an Incident, Accident, Dangerous Occurrence or Near Miss Form.

Cleaning and refuelling of contractors' vehicles is prohibited on University sites.

Safety, Signs and Notices

All appropriate safety signs and notices must be displayed where necessary and shall be maintained in good order throughout the works or project.

Reference should be made to the Health and Safety (Signs and Signals) Regulations and Guidance Notes produced by the Health and Safety Executive. It is required of the Principal Contractor or Contractor that all signs, notices and signals used and displayed conform to these regulations and guidance.

All roadworks must have warning signs, clearly visible to all road users and pedestrians. All such signs must conform to Chapter Eight of the Traffic Signs Manual in size, colour and positioning.

Contractors must not rely upon the Safety Signs and Notices that have been put in place or installed by the University if they are not sufficient for their work being undertaken. Where a need is identified for safety signs and signals, the Principal Contractor or Contractor must provide signs, notices and signals of the regulatory standard which should remain clear and unobstructed throughout the works being undertaking.

The Principal Contractor or Contractor must not substitute a Safety Sign, Notice or Signal for a physical barrier unless a physical barrier can be installed which would eliminate or control the risks more appropriately.

Lone working

If lone working by contractors is to be undertaken, a suitable and sufficient risk assessment must be carried out by the Principal Contractor or Contractor and a Safe System of Work developed.

If the risk assessment deems it a need, a notification of lone working activities will be given to the University Contract Manager, accompanied by a copy of the Safe System of Work.

Arrangements may include the Principal Contractor or Contractor either communicating with or arranging for inspections to be undertaken of the lone worker at regular intervals throughout the works. These details must also be recorded in the developed Safe System of Works.

Fences, hoardings and barriers

For Contractor Controlled Sites, the Principal Contractor or Contractor shall provide and maintain the site fencing/hoarding or barriers around all work areas. If and as site boundaries are modified during the progress of works, all fencing, hoarding or barriers must be reinstated before work recommences. There is to be no over-spill of contractors or construction work or materials outside the designed and designated work areas.

Where worksites interface with vehicle routes, or were vehicles will be manoeuvring on site, the fencing, hoarding or barriers are to be protected from vehicle damage or displacement.

The standard of fencing, hoarding or barriers on construction site must be adequate to prevent access by children.

Fully detailed plans of the proposed site boundaries, type of fencing/hoarding etc, location of access/egress points, vehicles and emergency access points must be submitted to and agreed by the University Contract Manager and be recorded in the Construction Phase H&S Plan prior to commencement of any works.

All fences, hoardings and barriers must be erected or installed in accordance with the HSE Guidance, Barriers and Fencing HSG151or any other guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive or other professional or authoritative body where applicable.

The Principal Contractor or Contractor is required to undertake and record a daily inspection of any fences, hoardings or barriers erected by them. Copies of the daily inspection records must be available for inspection by the University Project Manager and the appointed Principal Designer where applicable.

The Principal Contractor or Contractor will carry out an assessment for the need of any and install, as necessary, additional lighting to ensure that any fencing, hoarding or barriers are clearly visible during periods of darkness.


The Principal Contractor or Contractor will, during any works, control noise levels where practicable to do so. The controls must be of such sufficient means to reduce the noise to acceptable levels. These means should include, wherever possible the isolating of noise within the defined works area or from specific undertakings by using sound deadening materials and or partitions. If isolation and or sound deadening cannot be achieved the developing of an acceptable method and time scale or period must be discussed with the University Contract Manager and the agreed methods built into the Health and Safety Plan for the works.

Works carried out by the Principal Contractor or Contractor, that produce intrusive levels of noise that have not been isolated, sound deadened, or for which acceptable control measures have not been agreed with the University, will be stopped until suitable sound deadening solutions are found.

Portable electrical equipment

All electrical equipment used by or on the behalf of the Principal Contractor or Contractor will have been appropriately tested and certified as safe to use on University premises and where applicable the equipment will bear a label of test date and tester’s signature.

Under no circumstances must equipment that has not been appropriately tested be used on University premises.

Copies of Test certificates if available should be held in the Health and Safety

Plan or on site and made available for inspection.

The Contractor shall produce an electrical safety plan and ensure that only equipment designed for operating at the supply voltage is used on the University premises. All portable equipment should be either 110 volt or battery operated, however if there is a specific requirement that can only be met by equipment of a higher voltage a request and full method statement must be submitted to the University Contract Manager for approval. Any supplies or leads in excess of 110 volts must be protected by a residual current device.

The Contractor shall ensure that all tools and distribution equipment, including cables, plugs etc. are complete and examined for signs of wear or damage prior to use.

Trailing cables across operational or public areas are not permitted.

All distribution equipment and cables, including lighting festoons (110 volt or less only), must be routed and adequately supported to avoid creating a hazard on site or damage to the equipment.

Traffic management, delivery and storage of materials

The movement and management of Contractor Transport and Traffic on site will be the responsibility of the Principal Contractor or Contractor and must be controlled at all times.

The maximum speed limit on all University sites is 10 mph.

Parking on all University sites is very limited. Arrangements must be made with the Contract Manager prior to bringing vehicles on site.

Where applicable, the submission of a Transport and Traffic Management Plan must be made to the University Contract Manager, prior to project commencement. No project transport or traffic must enter the University campus until verification and acceptance of the plan has been given by the University Contract Manager.

All site transport and traffic is required to be controlled at all times and movement of large vehicles should only be undertaken with the use of banksmen or traffic marshals. Whilst manoeuvring, the vehicle’s hazard warning and revolving lights, if fitted, are to be lit.

All materials to be used on works or projects must be delivered in an appropriate manner, its packaging will be such that it does not produce a secondary risk to the University students, staff or visitors.

No materials will be allowed to be stored that presents a risk of fire or explosion without adequate countermeasures and the agreement of the University Contract Manager.

All delivered materials are stored on the University premises at the risk of the Principal Contractor or Contractor and the University will not be held accountable for its safety and security.

Hazardous substances and materials

The Principal Contractor or Contractor shall ensure that risk assessments have been undertaken by a competent person for all products intended for use during the work or for materials evolved during the work undertakings and that a written procedure for the handling, application, storage and disposal of hazardous products have been prepared.

The Principal Contractor or Contractor must be aware that there are risks that need to be identified within (and including waste pipes from) laboratories that contain ionising radiation. Access to these rooms is controlled by appointed laboratory staff.

The risk assessment for products used or for materials evolved must be carried out in accordance with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 Regulations and be recorded and contained in the contract plan of work.

The Principal Contractor or Contractor must coordinate all such assessments and make them available, together with safety data sheets, to the University Contract Manager for agreement prior to any work undertaking.

The University Contract Manager must be informed in writing of all substances intended for use on University controlled sites which are classified as toxic, very toxic, corrosive, flammable, highly flammable or explosive. This will not relieve the Principal Contractor or Contractor of their duties under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations

The Principal Contractor or Contractor will make arrangements for storage of hazardous materials in appropriate cabinets, as required. The storage, transportation and use of hazardous substances must be detailed in an appropriate Safe System of Work.

If the Principal Contractor or Contractor discovers any hazardous substance they must immediately notify the University Contract Manager. If the substance is identified or suspected of being an immediate danger, all work must stop until an appropriate safe system of removal or containment can be developed to address the circumstance.

Bottled gas shall not be used within the University premises without the authorisation of the University Contract Manager. It will require the Principal Contractor or Contractor to develop an appropriate Safe System of Work which may require the issuing of other Permits.

LPG and other bottled flammable gases stored within the University site boundaries shall be stored in compliance with the, Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 and HSE Guidance note Storage of Flammable Liquids in Containers HSG51.

No LPG or bottled gas is to be left unattended by contractors, or on site outside working hours without agreed notification to the University Contract Manager.

PPE & RPE (Personal/Respiratory Protective Equipment)

It is the responsibility of the Principal Contractor or Contractor to provide all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and where appropriate Personal Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) for their personnel.

The minimum requirement for PPE where construction work is being undertaken is hard hat, safety footwear, gloves and high visibility vest.

The University requires that as part of all tender submissions made by the Principal Contractor or Contractor inclusion is made and detailed for PPE/RPE. All PPE/RPE used and supplied to Contractor work force must comply to appropriate safety standards as defined by the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations. Details of this will be required in the Health and Safety Plan for contract undertakings.

Any member of contracted staff found not to be wearing the appropriate (Health and Safety Plan detailed) PPE/RPE will be stopped from working until such times as PPE/RPE is provided and worn.

Continuous disregard or violation of PPE/RPE requirements detailed in the Principal Contractor or Contractor’s Health and Safety Plan or task Risk Assessments will result in immediate removal from site of the individual and potentially the contracted company.

Fire precautions and procedures

Contractors must conform with the University’s Fire & Evacuation Procedures. On hearing a fire alarm evacuate the building immediately using the nearest available fire exit as indicated by the green fire escape signs, report to the designated fire assembly point the locations of which given on fire action notices.

For Contractor Controlled Sites, a fire risk assessment and emergency procedure(s) shall be developed applicable to the task being undertaken and shall be agreed with the University Contract Manager prior to commencement of work. The Contractor shall coordinate and prepare the fire safety arrangements in the form of a Fire Safety Plan.

The Contractor shall ensure that all their operatives are familiar with the risk assessment and the fire safety arrangements.

Contractors shall not block access to emergency services and will keep corridors and access to fire escapes clear. Where the Contractors’ tasks involve working on or near access or escape routes, risk assessments will be undertaken and arrangements to deal with fire evacuation will be agreed with the University Contract Manager.

All operations involving "Hot Work" (cutting, welding, grinding etc.) or use of open flames (blow lamps, gas appliances, heated tar-pots etc) to be carried out within, or adjacent to the University premises will require a Hot Work Permit to be obtained from the University Contract Manager.

Contractors are responsible for the safe storage, handling and use of all compressed gas cylinders, or containers delivered to them, or used by them and must at all times comply with the provisions of relevant Health and Safety Regulations and Guidance Notes.

Highly Flammable Liquids must not be stored or decanted within buildings and effective control of any potential source of ignition shall be carried out by the Contractor, including prohibition of smoking within or adjacent to storage areas and points of use.

Contractors shall ensure that large quantities of combustible materials are not stored on University premises. Combustible materials or waste must not accumulate and must be removed as soon as possible.

For requirements regarding Electrical Systems. Temporary wiring must conform to the relevant regulatory requirements and be fitted with residual current devices. Temporary wiring must not be run in areas that there is a likelihood of chaffing or damage and be fixed in a manner that would prevent accidental damage or pulling.

In all cases, first consideration must be given to maintaining a safe means of egress for occupants of any building. Where temporary alternative arrangements are approved and implemented, the facilities must be accompanied by suitable directional and exit signs and temporary lighting to comply with all regulatory requirements and appropriate guidance notes.

Agreement with the University Contact Manager must be made prior to any works to isolate any fire detector units.

Standards of behaviour on university premises

Radios/music/mobile phones

The playing of radios or music within any of the University’s buildings or on its premises is not permitted at any time. The use of mobile phones is permitted in all unrestricted areas.

Smoking policy

The University Smoking Policy prohibits smoking or the use of vapour e-cigarettes within all University buildings and any areas within 5 meters of building entrances or windows. Those wishing to smoke are requested to use the designated smoking shelters located at Headington and Harcourt Hill, whilst on those sites.

The Principal Contractor or Contractor is required to notify all their staff of these requirements

Alcohol / substance use

The University has a legal obligation to protect the health, safety and welfare of students, staff, and visitors to its site.

Due to the nature of the undertakings that Contractors will be engaged in, the use of alcohol or illegal or non-prescribed mind affecting substances will not be permitted within the University buildings or sites.

If any Contractor is found to be consuming alcohol, illegal or non-prescribed mind affecting substances or is suspected to be under the influence of these they will be required to leave the site.

Welfare Facilities

On Contractor Controlled Sites, the Principal Contractor or Contractor shall provide and maintain, as required, such adequate accommodation for eating food, toilets, drying clothes etc and allow full use of such accommodation to all persons employed by them.

The Principal Contractor or Contractor shall place site accommodation and offices in accordance with University directives, and ensure that the accommodation does not present a fire risk to the University.

The Principal Contractor or Contractor must at all times keep the site accommodation clean of debris likely to cause an infestation and dispose of food waste in an approved manner.

University welfare facilities must not be used unless authorised by the University Contract Manager. If University site facilities are used by Contractor staff, they must remove overalls if dirty and ensure that footwear is free from mud or debris that may leave marks on floor surfaces.

University equipment

A Contractor must not use any University plant or equipment without prior permission in writing of the University Contract Manager.

Only a trained and competent person may carry out the use or operation of any loaned University plant and equipment.

Data protection

The Principal Contractor or Contractor may, through works undertaken, be party to or have access to, or sight of, data held by the University.

The Principal Contractor or Contractor is reminded of their duties, obligations and responsibilities under the Data Protection Regulations 1998 and is required to comply with all of the requirements of those regulations where applicable.

A breach of the regulations may result in immediate termination of the contract and appropriate actions being taken by the University, which could also include notification to appropriate enforcing authorities.

Appendix 1 Information for Contractors

Issue January 2018