Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Managing Contractors, Service Engineers and Consultants

Service Contractors and Specialist Engineers

Many Schools and Departments will, from time to time, require assistance from specialist Service Contractors, such as Manufacturer or Service Engineers.  In many cases the options as to whom is appointed is limited, with only the manufacturer or specialist able to identify and remedy a fault or issue.

Colleges, Schools and Departments are reminded that they are generally responsible for all contractors whom they commission and should therefore ensure they provide appropriate:

  • information pre-site visit (such as access and details of local health or safety risks),

  • information upon arrival (such as fire and emergency arrangements, and any applicable local or University rules/protocols); and,

  • escort the engineer to the item of equipment, agreeing further supervision and assistance as appropriate to the potential level of risk.

You are not expected to fully understand or be responsible for the risks which the Engineer may be exposed to because of their actual work on the equipment, but you should be able to identify whether the Engineer is working safely and respond accordingly.

For on-going Service contracts, it is recommended that health and safety information is formally exchanged, including receipt of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and a copy of the Public Liability Insurance certificate from the contractor.

For some areas, such as Biological (CL2) and Radiation laboratories, there will be a need to formally advise the contractor (through a Permit/Authorisation) that the area to be worked on is free of contamination risk, etc.

It is emphasised that controls employed should reflect the level of potential risk, the greater the potential the greater the level of vetting and control you should operate.

Consultants and Advisers (not construction/estates)

Where Colleges, Schools, Departments and Senior Officers engage specialist Consultants to undertake work at the University they will have some health and safety responsibilities, both towards the Consultant and to the University.

Prior to appointment it is important that the competence of the Consultant to undertake the work is assessed; in particular, considering (detail of which reflective of potential impact) their awareness of the potential health and safety implications of their work and/or of their recommendations.

Following appointment, processes become more familiar and straightforward and will often reflect existing arrangements for visiting academics or day visitors. For example, where the Consultant undertakes no more work at the University than attending meetings or sitting in an office then no significant information would normally be exchanged, other than local emergency procedures (e.g. first aid & fire evacuation). If the Consultant is to undertake site visits or investigatory activity, etc. then the appointing department/person should also:

  • provide suitable written and/or verbal advice and information, including emergency arrangements and of access restrictions

  • agree a method for confirming the location / presence of the Consultant on-site (signing in/out)

  • request from the Consultant a copy of their, adapted if required, standard operating procedure (SOP) for their site visits/work.

Building/Estates Contractors & Consultants

Property and Campus Services (PACS) have in place procedures to:

  • Ensure the competence of contractors appointed to undertake work at the University
  • Improve work specifications to ensure the University gets exactly what it wants
  • Enhance communication of information regarding the work area to improve interaction between contractor and University activities
  • Improve the management of contractors once on site
  • Formally monitor and review a contractor's performance
  • PACS Contractor Code of Practice UNDER REVIEW (issued to contractors)

If you have any concern regarding the authority or quanlity/safety of work of any contractor please contact PACS.