Evaluation, Selection and Control of Sub-contractors

A. Introduction

Activities carried out by sub-contractors / “outside” contractors on campus may create risks for staff, students and other premises users. Whilst the contractors have the responsibility to ensure that their activities are being carried out safely, the University will make every effort to assure that the safety and health of its students, staff members and visitors are not adversely affected.

B. Responsibilities

The contractors have the responsibility to ensure the safety of their workers and to ensure that their works are carried out safely. Departments at UM should exercise reasonable control and monitoring over their contractors to ensure that they are applying proper management and safe working practices in their works within the University premises.

C. Work Arrangement

For construction work, work areas should be physically separated from areas used by staff and students wherever it is reasonably practicable to do so.

For catering operations, food preparation areas (i.e., kitchens) are typically separated from areas used by staff and students although clearly serving counters cannot be. Serving counters where hot food is kept in heated trays must have splash guards both for protection of diners and for food safety / hygiene reasons.

D. Selection of Contractors

Every effort should be made to select the most suitable contractor for the job. The safety performance of the contractor must be considered as an important criterion in the selection process.

New contractors bidding on contracts at the University shall be required to provide information on their safety management system.

For caterers this information should cover their in-house food server / handler health screening procedures including physical exams, stool tests, and questionnaires regarding infectious diseases, tuberculosis, and blood-borne pathogen control plan.

The information provided shall be reviewed by CMO who shall give appropriate advice to the responsible departments in selecting contractors.

The safety record of contractors working with the University should be kept by the responsible departments and a list of contractors with acceptable safety performance shall be compiled. Only those contractors who are included in the list shall be re-invited to tender the jobs of the University. Feedback from University’s site supervising staff shall be obtained and those contractors who persistently fail to meet safety standards should be deleted from the list.

E. Project Planning

Before tendering a work project, full consideration should be given to health and safety issues that may affect premises occupants and the workers.

At an early stage in the preparation of tender and contract documents, the following information should be confirmed and agreed with the concerned user department(s), CMO and the Security Centre as appropriate.

  1. The nature and scope of the work. 
  2. The areas within which the work can be physically contained. 
  3. The time period within which the work will be undertaken. 
  4. Information relevant to the safety of the contractor’s own employees and site workers while undertaking the work at UM (e.g. specific hazards in laboratory areas, existence of hazardous materials, etc.) 
  5. Access and exit arrangements for the occupants and contractor's workers. 
  6. Additional security measures.

The above information should be included as part of the contract specifications made known to contractors before they submit their tenders, as individual items may have significant cost implications.

F. Contractual Arrangements

Appropriate safety clauses and requirements, requiring the contractors to comply with applicable statutory regulations and specific safety rules of the University, should be included in the contract documents.

A copy of the Requirements on Safe Working Practices for Construction Contracts Undertaken at the Premises of the University of Macau should also be included as part of the contract documents requiring compliance by the contractor. The document is included as Appendix 14.

A copy of the Food Hygiene and General Catering Safety Requirements on the Premises of the University of Macau should also be included as part of the contract documents requiring compliance by the catering contractor. The document is included as Appendix 15.

For construction projects of considerable size and complexity, or long-term catering contracts, a pre-bid safety briefing meeting with prospective bidders is considered necessary. This pre-bid meeting offers an opportunity for the University to clearly explain the specific safety performance standards expected of the contractors in carrying out the work.

Prospective bidders should be reminded to price those safety items which are considered to have cost implications.

G. Construction Pre-start Meeting

For construction works of considerable size and complexity (e.g. works that may cause significant disruption to occupants), a pre-start meeting should be held with the contractor to exchange important information and work out appropriate work arrangements and schedules. The meeting should involve appropriate member(s) representing the affected occupants. The Safety Officer may also be involved if necessary.

The following information should be given to the contractor prior to the commencement of the works.

  1. Confirm and, if necessary, clarify the premises user requirements and other relevant details previously identified in the contract documents. 
  2. Information relevant to the safety of the contractor’s own employees. This may include the presence of underground services, location of fragile roofs, location of chemical stores, etc. 
  3. The operation of the premises fire alarm system, location of alarm buttons, evacuation procedures etc. 
  4. Any other information as needed by the contractor.

The following information should be supplied by the construction contractor prior to the commencement of the works.

  1. Contractor’s access/exit arrangements, both in general and with specific reference to vehicles delivering the contractor’s and any subcontractor’s materials, equipment and personnel. 
  2. The contractor’s proposals for use of scaffolding (mobile and fixed), ladders, and other access equipment; necessary barriers and overhead protection, including the time frame for their erection and dismantling. 
  3. The contractor’s proposals for separating the work areas from other occupied areas, details of any fencing, protective fans etc., including the time frame for their construction and dismantling. 
  4. The contractor’s proposals on handling and disposal of construction waste (including hazardous waste).
  5. Arrangements for storage and using hazardous or noxious materials, including time schedules for using those materials.

The construction contractor’s liaison officer should be requested to confirm that all relevant safety requirements have been read and understood by himself, his site supervisor and subcontractors. Any questions about the safety requirements should be resolved at the pre-start meeting, or as early as possible.

H. Progress Meetings

Health and safety matters should be reviewed and discussed as a standing agenda item at site meetings with the construction contractor. A separate site safety meeting, with participation of Safety Officer, may be considered necessary for projects of considerable size and complexity.

I. Safety Inspections

Unannounced periodic inspections of construction works should be conducted to ensure that they are carried out in a safe manner.

Unannounced periodic inspections of catering operations should be performed and include food safety & hygiene spot-checks (e.g., proper food storage & handling, safe hot food temperatures), as well as general housekeeping and safety review (e.g., fire hazards, provision for first aid).

Inspections and review shall be conducted on an on-going basis by the responsible staff members of the contractor. Furthermore, responsible members from the contract supervising office, CMO and member of Canteen Committee will conduct the aforementioned unannounced hygiene and safety inspections at appropriate intervals.

Unsafe situations identified must be reported promptly to the responsible persons for actions. When an extremely hazardous situation is found during an inspection, the contractor’s work should be stopped or condition isolated immediately until the situation has been rectified. Assistance from the Security Centre should be sought if required.

J. Accident Reporting and Investigation

It should be a contractual requirement for contractors to provide accident investigation reports for all lost time accidents and dangerous occurrences to the Contract Supervising Office and to CMO, for reference and necessary actions.

Reporting for caterers includes cases of food-borne illnesses, staff with communicable diseases that can be food-borne, tuberculosis, etc.