Safety Guidelines for Contractors 2008

Safety Guidelines for Contractors 2008

Safety Guidelines for Contractors 2008

May 2008

Main contractors / Principal Contractors must ensure that all of their staff, contractors and sub contractors are made aware of the content of these guidelines during their recorded induction to site when working on University of Leeds premises

In addition to the University Guidelines you can obtain up-to-date Health & Safety information from the following sources. Should you have any Health & Safety queries that you wish to discuss contact the Estates Safety Team (EST) through the Architect/Contract Administrator.

You are advised to obtain a free publications catalogue of HSE books, which details all available guidance – many booklets etc are free.

How to order from HSE Books

Telephone number is 01787 881165

Fax number is 01787 313995

Orders can be posted to: HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA

Orders can be e-mailed to:

HSE Direct

Developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in partnership with Butterworths Tolley, hsedirect is an online information service providing instant access to:

  • All the very latest health and safety legislation
  • Approved Codes of Practice and HSE guidance on legislation, including the L, COP and HSE services
  • Guidance from HSE on specific workplaces, processes and substances including the HSG series and Industry Advisory Committee publications
  • EU directives
  • Case summaries
  • HSE forms

The site also contains daily news, HSE press releases, a health and safety events diary, useful contact details and much more.

A CD-Rom version is also available.

HSE Information Services

HSE Infoline

HSE InfoLine can provide free information on workplace health and safety issues and on HSE publications. Please note, however, that if you already know which publication(s) you require, you should order this/these directly from HSE Books or through good booksellers.

Calls can be transferred from the InfoLine to HSE’s Information Centre, the main offices of the Field Operations Directorate or HSE Books as appropriate.

HSE InfoLine is open Monday to Friday 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. A queuing system operates and calls are answered in rotation.

Contact HSE InfoLine on tel: 08701 545500 or e-mail: .


HSELINE is a computer database of bibliographic references to published documents on health and safety at work. It contains over 230,000 references and over 9,000 additions are made each year.

For further information on how to access HSELINE contact:


The British Library

96 Euston Road



Tel: 0207 412 7951Fax: 0207 412 7954

The Dialog Corporation,

The Communication Building

48 Leicester Square



Tel: 0171 930 6900Fax: 0171 930 6006


  1. Introduction
  2. Objectives
  3. Commencement of work
  4. Training
  5. Notices - Enforcing body
  6. Notices - University
  7. Plant, Materials and Equipment
  8. Project Supervision
  9. Permits to Work
  10. Contractor assessment
  11. Risk Assessments and Method Statement
  12. Working in Ducts
  13. Electrical Plant
  14. Underground/overhead services
  15. Noise and Vibration
  16. Explosive or Radioactive materials
  17. Operation of Plant
  18. Asbestos
  19. Housekeeping
  20. Fire precautions
  21. Working areas
  22. Services
  23. Excavations
  24. Compressed Gas Cylinders
  25. Roof work
  26. Scaffolding
  27. Warning/Danger notices
  28. Working Alone
  29. Protection of persons
  30. Welfare
  31. Control of pollution
  32. Cartridge Operated Fixing tools
  33. Flammable Materials
  34. COSHH
  35. Accident Reporting
  36. Redundant Services
  37. Health and Safety File documentation
  38. Asset information
  39. Site Safety Management
  40. Abrasive Wheels
  41. Lifting Equipment
  42. Planning Supervisors
  43. Designers
  44. Demolition work
  45. Vehicles
  46. Site order
  47. Gas
  48. Department hazards
  49. Work In Plantrooms
  50. Information acceptance form


This document is issued as a Safety Guidance Note to Contractors/Sub Contractors employed on University contracts. It is designed to ensure a safe environment for the contractor, University staff, students and visitors and must be adhered to at all times. To be accepted onto the approved list of contractors you will have to be a member of Constructionline and the Contractor Health and Safety (CHAS) assessment Scheme. In addition you will have to show evidence of insurance cover as required by the University. A lapse in any of the above will necessitate removal from the approved contractor list.

It is the duty of all Contractors to have knowledge of this and any other relevant legislation and to take account of it in the pricing, planning and execution of all work on University Projects.

Should you be unsure of the contents of this Legislation, Codes of Practice or Guidance Notes or of safe working methods, you have a duty to discuss this with a representative of the University responsible for the project. As a contractor to the university you will be responsible for ensuring that these guidelines are brought to the attention your contractor(s) and that they are adhered to. You may be penalised for failures of your contractor(s). Evidence that these guidelines have been brought to the attention of your employees and that of your contractors should be readily available for inspection

The Leeds University Estates Safety Policy is available for inspection within the Estate Services department on request.

  1. Objectives

To reduce the risk of injury or incident and to ensure that the standards for safety and health, as required by legislation, guidance and best practice, are achieved at all times and that all works are undertaken safely.

To raise awareness of contractor duties to work in accordance with current legislation and co-operate with the University on matters relating to Health Safety and Welfare.

To require contractors to have effective ’on’ site safety management throughout a project

Contractors operations will be so designed that they will be carried out in a safe manner. Should on any occasion your attention be drawn to unsafe practices, prompt and effective action must be taken to remedy the matter.

3.Commencement of Work - Provision of Safety Information

In the first instance, no work may commence on a University site until a completed Certificate of Compliance (found at the end of this document) has been received.

The rules and certificate apply to all subsequent work carried out by your company and/or your contractors when on University sites until further notice. In addition, no work may commence before the Contractor has reported to the relevant Architect/Contract Administrator. The Contractors should similarly report the completion of a job. This requirement applies to each and every job.

At the initial contact with University staff, generally the Architect/Contract Administrator - a member of Estate Services, - you will be advised of any special hazards in the area where you are carrying out the work/survey and of the procedures and precautions to follow to ensure that the (potential) risks to you or your staff arising from these hazards are controlled. In such instances, the Contractor shall, before commencing any work, furnish the Architect/Contract Administrator with a detailed written Risk Assessment on how he intends to control any hazards identified and seek the Architect/Contract Administrator agreement.

The Architect/Contract Administrator or University’s Health and Safety Representative shall be empowered to suspend the provision of the service, or part thereof, in the event of any non-compliance by the Contractor with his legal duties for health, safety and welfare matters, provided it is safe to do so. The Contractor shall not resume provision of the service until the Architect/Contract Administrator is satisfied that the non-compliance has been rectified. The Contractor shall bear all costs associated with any suspension and resumption of the service.

The University’s Health, Safety and Fire Representative shall be empowered to access at any reasonable time any site where the Contractor is undertaking any works in pursuance of the Contract for the purpose of carrying out an inspection of health, safety and welfare standards. The Contractor shall fully co-operate with the reasonable requests of the University’s Health, Safety and Fire Representative and shall provide access to all areas of the works, health and safety documentation, welfare facilities, accident records, training records and certificates, equipment inspection records, statutory registers and notices, plant and equipment for the purposes of inspection. The University’s Health, Safety and Fire Representative shall be empowered to take any photographs, measurements, samples, copies of health and safety related documents etc. which he/she deems necessary to determine the Contractor’s compliance with health and safety legislation and best practice and as evidence of any non-compliance.

Within departments you should seek written assurances from the Architect/Contract Administrator that the work area is clear of department hazards before you allow work to commence. However, should you be concerned about any hazards either at the beginning of the work, or about any hazard that develops or becomes apparent during the course of the work; then you should immediately get in touch with your Architect/Contract Administrator in Estate Services or the departmental liaison officer. The latter is often the Chief Technician in the department but you will be informed who is the liaison officer at the beginning of the contract.

In some cases it may be necessary to demarcate the working area e.g. using barriers in order to prevent intrusion into the working area and Caution Notices displayed. The need for such demarcation should either be addressed in the contract or discussed with your Architect/Contract Administrator in Estate Services.

4.Training and Competence of Employees and Notification of Hazards

All Contractors must ensure that its employees are adequately trained and experienced to carry out their work safely and hold a valid CSCS card or equivalent Certificate of Competence where appropriate. Training should be to industry recognised standards, evidence of training will be required. Details of available competence cards can be found at

To this end you must ensure also that specific hazards likely to be experienced on the project, whether notified to them or discovered by them, are notified to their workforce together with any precautions to be taken and local rules to be observed. Similarly such hazards should be notified to their Sub-Contractors and where discovered by them to the University.

On the job training, given by the University may be given for certain tasks to be carried out in a short term basis

5.Improvement and Prohibition Notices – Enforcement body

In the event of an Improvement or Prohibition Notice (in accordance with Section 21 and 22 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974) being served by an HSE Inspector, the Contractor must immediately notify the University regarding the reason for the Notice and the action the Contractor intends to take as a result. The Contractor must comply with the terms of such Notice within the appropriate time period or appeal against the notice.

6.University Non – Compliance Notices

To ensure continued adherence to health, safety and quality standards the university has in place a ’3 strikes and out’ Policy. These ’strikes’ are measured in terms of KPI’s and safety and health non-compliance. The KPI’s will be provided to you at the start of a project. On receiving 3 strikes the offending contractor may be removed from the university approved register of contractors for a minimum period of 6 months. It should be noted that the Principal/ Main contractor will be held responsible for the failures of their sub contractors.

Failure notices will be issued as follows:

  • Warning Notice – Issued to remedy short term deficiencies which can be dealt immediately by the person on whom the notice has been issued. More than one notice can be issued during one visit if there are significant differences in non-compliances
  • Improvement Notice - issued for cases of significant or repeated non-compliance with legal or in-house requirements
  • Prohibition Notice – Issued where there is an immediate risk of personal injury, significant loss or damage of plant / equipment or infringement of important regulations

There is an appeal process in place for improvement and prohibition notices where there are matters of substance that have not been considered. There is no appeal process for warning notices as they are intended for immediate short term action.

3 x warning notices will result in an improvement notice being issued.

3 x improvement notices will result in a review of the contractors position on the approved contractor register. Note: when one year has elapsed from the issue date of the notice, the notice will be removed from the approved contractor database.

1 x Prohibition notice will result in action being taken as per 3 x Improvement notices Note: when one year has elapsed from the issue date of the notice, the notice will be removed from the approved contractor database.

Where an infringement have occurred, written assurances will be required from the contractor regarding what actions have been taken to reduce the risk of recurrence in future works. Failure to provide written assurances in a timely manner may preclude the contractor from future work

7.Plant Materials and Equipment (General)

All plant, materials and equipment used by the Contractor must be of good construction, sound material, adequate strength, free from patent defects, properly maintained and competently operated and routinely inspected by a Competent Person (insurance inspector) when required.


All plant used by Contractors including cranes, lifting machines and lifting gear must be safe and fully efficient in use, guarded and equipped with safety devices wherever required and tested and examined in accordance with regulations and when required marked as to the noise level that is likely to be generated by the plant. It is essential that plant to be used is effectively silenced.

Periodic maintenance must be carried out in accordance with manufacturers instructions. Statutory registers, certificates and notices when appropriate are to be displayed or readily available for inspection. Evidence of maintenance and testing should be available on site. for inspection

Ref. L22 – Safe use of work equipment (PUWER 98)

L113 – Safe use of lifting equipment (LOLER 98)


All items of equipment and materials are to be stored safely on site and under cover to prevent deterioration. The area in which items are to be stored will be designated by the Architect/Contract Administrator for the scheme. The Contractor shall be responsible for the security and loss of any materials.

All materials whether permanent or temporary used on the works are to be safe and properly used and any manufacturers instruction or known hazard relating to use, handling or storage, is to be made known to the University Representative as well as their own and any other Sub-Contractors Workforce.

7cWaste Materials

Skips should not be stored less than 6m from:

a)a glazed face of a building

b)licensed petroleum store

c)a gas cylinder store

Waste materials are to be removed from site each day. Skips will be the covered and lockable type and located in an area agreed by the Architect/Contract Administrator.

Waste removed from site must comply with the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005

You will be required to complete the environmental section of CHAS to remain on the approved contractor register

From April 2008 there is a legal duty to produce and implement a Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP). Although the requirement for the above is required for construction work exceeding £300.000 you are strongly encouraged by the University to have the procedure in place for contracts of less value – for the Hazardous Waste catalogue – for guidance on SWMP


All equipment brought to the project must be provided in a safe to use condition and the operator properly trained and competent in its use. Similarly for sub contracted work.

Ref: L22 Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

All electrical work and work involving the use of electrical tools and equipment shall be carried out in accordance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and with University rules for all portable electrical equipment. Tools to be rated max (110V). Battery powered tools are preferable.

All practical steps are to be taken to prevent circuit conductors and electrical equipment being made live whilst work in progress. ’Approved type’ caution notices are to be displayed incorporating date, name and contact details

The main contractor will be responsible for ensuring adherence by the electrical contractor

Ref:HS(G) 141 ’Electrical safety on construction sites’

7eSafety Equipment and Clothing

The Contractor shall provide all necessary Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for his workforce including Safety Shoes, Helmet, Ear Defenders, Eye Protection etc, required by statute. This equipment will need to be checked at recommended intervals to ensure it still complies.

Ref: L25 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.

8.Project Supervision

Contractors must ensure that a competent employee of suitable experience is always present on the project to supervise and direct the works and to receive and implement instructions from the Architect/Contract Administrator


9.Permit to Work (PTW)

Hazardous work situations exist which can only be carried out under a Permit to Work System. These include:

  • Hot Work Permit – University permit to be used
  • Work on Pressure/steam Systems
  • Work in Confined Spaces and underground ducts
  • Work on Medical and Industrial Gases
  • Work on High & Low Voltage Systems
  • Work in Radioactive Areas
  • Work in Biohazard Areas

It is imperative that in such circumstances all affected parties are informed and agree to the Permit to Work System to be adopted. Such work will then be carried out strictly within the limitations of the Permit to Work System under the direction of the person named as Co-ordinator of that operation.

Persons issuing the permits must be competent and authorised in writing by Head of Service.

Persons receiving the permits must be competent to accept a PTW