SC15 - Management of contractors
06 Dec 2010



SHE Code 15




Management of contractors

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Initial Launch
March 2008
1.1Amendment to audit checklistMay 2013
1.2Minor Change to Appendix 5Feb 2014
Overhaul to refine CSO role and improved guidance on contract SHE management consistent with new Contractor SHE training course.
May 2017
​Minor changes to reflect the launch of SHE Assure
​October 2018
​Minor changes to remove overlap with CDM code
​January 2020

NB - The changes to version 2.0 were considerable and readers should assume that significant portions of the body and appendices have changed.

1. Purpose

The STFC relies to a significant degree on contractors, working on our behalf, to run and operate sites and facilities. Their activities range from setting up scaffolding through to the operation of canteen facilities and the commissioning and maintenance of specialist scientific equipment.

The management of contractor safety represents a significant challenge for STFC management and is a significant contributor to STFC safety performance.

This code sets out STFC’s health and safety management arrangements for work undertaken by contractors and other non-staff workers on STFC’s sites.

The health and safety of contractors working on STFC sites is the joint responsibility of the contractor’s employer and the STFC. The STFC has specific responsibilities to co-operate with the external employer, to ensure that contractors are provided with sufficient information to enable them to conduct their roles safely on our sites and to provide adequate training and oversight.

2. Scope

This SHE Code is applicable to the activities of all non STFC employees working at STFC sites, referred to in this SHE Code as ‘Contractors’, see 3.2.

The duties described are not limited to contractors working under formal paid contracts which have been through a tender or selection process, see 3.2.

This code DOES NOT require full Method Statements and Risk Assessments for all contractors. Managers and Supervisors of contractors should consider the hazards & risks of work planned and choose proportionate and appropriate systems to control the work planned.

Given the wide range and scope of contracted works at STFC the aim of this SHE Code is to establish a flexible framework for managing contractor-related safety, health and environmental risks on any given project/job/task. This includes the co-ordination of two or more independent contractors working together on a common project/job/task or working in the vicinity of each other on separate jobs.

This code does not cover contractors undertaking construction work. This is covered by SHE Code 13 for Construction, Design and Management.

3. Definitions

3.1 Contracted work

The jobs, tasks, projects, activities undertaken by contractors on STFC sites.

3.2 Contractor

Any organisation/person(s) that the STFC engages to undertake work who is not an employee of the STFC irrespective of whether they are paid or not by the STFC. Work undertaken by a contractor may include such projects and activities as:

  • repair, clean or service equipment;
  • commission or de-commission equipment or plant;
  • install, inspect or test equipment or plant;
  • gardens and grounds maintenance;
  • catering;
  • cleaning;​
  • design consultancy;
  • surveying;
  • software development;
  • IT support; and
  • site investigations;
3.3 Term contractor

Is a specialist contractor typically employed across large areas of the STFC Estate normally for a period of between 1 and 5 years undertaking a range of works directly or through sub-contracted third parties.

3.4 Staff Letting Contracts (SLC)

An STFC employee, or their representative, who responsible for defining the contracted works and appointing the contractor. Where the contractor will be paid this may be through a formal contract tender process. Staff letting contracts should define the SHE requirements of any contract explicitly as these will not be included automatically where centralised procurement service providers are employed.

3.5 Contract Supervising Officer (CSO)

STFC employee who has a responsibility for ensuring that the contractor undertakes their work in accordance with the conditions of the contract or other agreed instructions. The CSO may be any competent person employed by, or acting on behalf of the STFC. The role of SLC and CSO may be undertaken by the same person.

4. Responsibilities

4.1 Directors shall:
  • 4.1.1 for contractors working in their Departments or physical areas for which they are responsible ensure that there is clarity of responsibility for the roles of Staff Letting Contracts and Contractor Supervising Officers, especially where one or both of these roles are provided by other Departments.
4.2 Staff letting contracts (SLC) shall:
  • 4.2.1 all pre-contract information includes sufficient information about the SHE implications of the work along with any constraints and mandatory requirements that will apply, including STFC SHE Codes, see Appendix 8.
  • 4.2.2 all relevant SHE information and requirements relating to the work are included in tender documentation and/or communicated to framework suppliers.
  • 4.2.3 where sub-contracting is permitted, the contractor has appropriate arrangements for selecting and managing their sub-contractors.
  • 4.2.4 the need for expert SHE advice is identified at the planning stage, for example advice on electrical, fire safety, pressure, radiation, bio-safety, waste, pollution etc.
  • 4.2.5 a competent Contract Supervising Officer is appointed for all contract work within their area of responsibility with sufficient time and resources to undertake these duties effectively. Training requirements are detailed in Appendix 1.
  • 4.2.6 only competent contractors are engaged to carry out work for the STFC. Appendix 2 contains a questionnaire that may be used to assist in assessing competence. Third party contractor competence schemes can be employed where relevant to the type of work being undertaken, for example Publically Available Specification 91 (PAS91) prequalification questionnaires for construction related procurement includes assessment of a suppliers’ health and safety competence.
  • 4.2.7 the specific/detailed SHE requirements are agreed with the appointed contractor as part of the planning and preparation phase of the contracted works. This is to be done in conjunction with the Contract Supervising Officer (CSO) and other relevant parties as necessary and includes, but is not limited to aspects such as:
    • Risk assessments;
    • Method statements;
    • Welfare and first aid provision on STFC sites;
    • Induction and training requirements;
    • Supervision arrangements; and
    • Waste management arrangements.
  • 4.2.8 oversight of the contract and its delivery is maintained, ensuring that the agreed Safety, Health and Environmental management arrangements are in place, working effectively and that the Contract Supervising Officer duties are being carried out.
  • 4.2.9 the contractor’s SHE performance, including any accumulated radiation doses, is reviewed on completion of the work, or periodically for term contractors, to identify any learning points .
  • 4.2.10 Any significant SHE performance issues arising from 4.3.10, 4.3.11 and 4.3.13 are communicated to STFC’s procurement service provider to assist with the evaluation of future tenders or contract renewal requests.
4.3 Contract Supervising Officers (CSOs) shall:
  • 4.3.1 the SLC is assisted during the detailed planning/preparation stage of the contracted works to agree the SHE requirements with the appointed contractor, see Appendix 8.

    4.3.2 the effective coordination of all contracted work under their control with the relevant parties on site who might be directly affected by it. Where work planned is within a specific Department or Facility close communication and agreement of those responsible for the work area will be required to ensure local authorisation and inductions are completed and local working arrangements understood.

    4.3.3 the risks arising from the interface between the contractor’s work and STFC’s infrastructure and operations are identified and properly controlled.
  • 4.3.4 suitable assurance is obtained from the contractor that the people who will actually be doing the work have the necessary competence prior to the work commencing. This may include certificates of competency, membership of professional bodies and/or proof of training.
  • 4.3.5 all contracted and sub-contracted personnel receive an appropriate SHE induction before they are permitted to work on site (see Appendix 3).
  • 4.3.6 contractors working on their behalf are made aware of the site arrangements and standards for SHE management, see relevant site “Contractor SHE Essentials” handbook Appendix 4.
  • 4.3.7 contractors are made aware of any specific hazards that may affect the safety of their work for example, but not limited to, ionising radiation, asbestos, permits to work etc. see Contract Supervising Officer Checklist, see Appendix 3.
  • 4.3.8 where sub-contracting is permitted, verify that contractors are engaging safe, competent sub-contractors and managing their activities on site to the required standard and in accordance with contractual conditions and STFC SHE Codes.
  • 4.3.9 that all risk assessments and any method statements agreed and understood prior to work commencing are still valid and that these are adhered to by the contractors during work, see Appendix 5. The checklist in Appendix 3 will help ensure that all these issues have been addressed. The standard expected of risk assessment employed in the STFC can be checked using the checklist in SHE code 6: Risk Management, Appendix 3.
  • 4.3.10 through the routine and periodic assessment of contractors during the course of their work that they comply with agreed method statements and STFC SHE codes and standards.
  • 4.3.11 in the case of Term Contractors, that the documentation provided and checked as part of the tender exercise remains valid and is routinely monitored throughout the period of the contract.
  • 4.3.12 that clear and effective arrangements are in place for quickly stopping any contracted work if it realistically poses a risk of serious and imminent danger to anyone on site (including the contractor’s staff and/or their sub-contractors).
  • 4.3.13 all SHE incidents involving contractors under their control are reported via STFC’s SHE incident reporting system​ and investigated in accordance with, SHE Code 5, Incident Reporting and Investigation.
  • 4.3.14 any SHE issues or concerns that they are unable to resolve are rapidly brought to the attention of the SLC.
  • 4.3.15 undertake Contractor SHE Management training defined detailed in Appendix 1, where the work of contractors employed is typical of office based work this training is recommended but not mandatory.
4.4 Contractors shall:
  • 4.4.1 Provide all requested SHE information during the selection/tender process.
  • 4.4.2 After selection, collaborate fully with the Staff Letting Contracts (SLC) and the Contract Supervising Officer (CSO) in planning all SHE aspects of the work including, but not limited to:
    • Risk assessments;
    • Method statements;
    • Welfare and first aid provision on STFC sites;
    • Induction and training requirements;
    • Supervision arrangements; and
    • Waste management arrangements.
  • 4.4.3 Conform to all STFC SHE codes, procedures and to the guidance given in the relevant site “SHE Essentials for contractors” handbook, see App​endix 4.
  • 4.4.4 Carry out work in accordance with the Risk Assessments and Method Statements agreed with STFC.
  • 4.4.5 Raise any concerns with regard to their work and its safety with their STFC CSO.
  • 4.4.6 Report all injuries, near misses and environmental incidents to their STFC CSO.
  • 4.4.7 For all work involving radiation hazards seek advice of their Radiation Protection Advisor (RPA) or Radioactive Waste Advisor (RWA) [if they have one] and the STFC site’s RPA or RWA regarding the proposed work and as appropriate the need for designation of contractor staff as radiation classified persons and how classification can be achieved.
  • 4.4.8 For work involving radiation hazards, unclassified contractor employees may operate under a Written System of Work detailing specific procedures and controls to ensure that accumulated doses are managed to ALARP, see STFC SHE Code 29, Appendix 6.
  • 4.4.8 For work involving radiation hazards, unclassified contractor employees may operate under a Written System of Work detailing specific procedures and controls to ensure that accumulated doses are managed to ALARP, see STFC SHE Code 29, Appendix 6 (copy available on request).
  • 4.4.9 For employees working as classified or under a System of Work must ensure that their dose histories are available for the STFC Contract Supervising Officer and STFC site RPA to determine whether the relevant dose limits are likely to be exceeded and thus allow a contract to be made for the work.​
Contact: Baker, Gareth (STFC,DL,COO)