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Health and Safety Directorate

Construction and Contractor Safety


Contractor Safety

A contractor is anyone you get in to work for you who is not an employee. Contractors may be engaged in maintenance, repairs, installation, servicing, construction and many other jobs. You need to consider how the contractor's work may affect your work and vice versa.  If you have more than one contractor on site you will need to consider and coordinate their different activities. 

Ensure any contractors you engage are working on well planned activities and you can provide appropriate levels of supervision as required.  Contractors will need to know the following as a minimum:

  • Any areas hazards e.g. in laboratories.
  • Are rules and safety procedures e.g. areas where oxygen alarms are fitted due to use of nitrogen.
  • What to wear e.g. safety glasses.
  • About special equipment they need to use e.g. lanyards and harnesses for high level access.
  • What to do in an emergency e.g. if there is an accident.
  • The sound of the alarm, and how and when to raise it.

Depending on the activity they may need to comply with the University permit to work systems.

Construction Safety 

The law requires builders to:

  • Manage hazards and risk - they must plan, manage and monitor there construction work so it is done safely and without risks to health.  The University will also need to provide information e.g. the asbestos register.
  • Inform and train their workforce – the onsite contractors must understand the risks, precautions and rules.
  • Co-operate with the University (client). The University has legal duties and is obliged to co-operate with the construction contractor, and vice versa.  

When conducting work the construction company should.

  • Plan, manage and monitor their construction work so that health and safety risks are controlled
  • Set lead times – inform any sub-contractors of the minimum amount of time that will be allowed for planning and preparation.
  • Prevent unauthorised site access – check that steps have been taken to prevent access by unauthorised persons to the site.
  • Arrange welfare facilities – make sure adequate welfare facilities are in place for their workforce.  This will sometimes involve access to our facilities.
  • Protect the public e.g. with suitable and planned barriers and enclosures.



The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (The regulations are divided into three key parts)

  • Client duties.  These will be the requirements on the University when commencing projects involving more than one construction company.
  • Health and safety duties and roles. Describes roles of designers, main site contractor and sub-contractors.
  • General requirements for all construction sites.  The general standards on construction sites to manage activities such as working at height, site traffic, excavations, etc.

HSD Contacts

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