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Health and Safety Services

Birkbeck Estates and facilities Capital Works (Projects) Section - Health and Safety Policy

Mission Statement
The Estates Department is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for all staff and visitors. This policy statement sets out the key elements of that commitment. I ask that project staff  read it carefully as it is important we all understand the roles and responsibilities for health and safety and the contribution that each of us can make towards improving health and safety at work.

At Birkbeck College we are committed to ensuring that all works carried out on the estate, or in outlying properties, are carried out to the highest standard of Health and Safety.  works project managers duties apply to any aspect of the college business that seeks or accepts the services of Consultants, builders or workers to carry out construction project work. Capital works project management duties apply on all projects and there are additional requirements on notifiable projects[1].  

Duties therefore apply on:
•         major construction projects;
•         minor building works and;
•         Small projects involving refurbishment and repair work.

Duties apply from project conception through to completion. Thecapital works project manager is critical to securing project safety and achieving compliance with all other aspects of CDM 2007 & HASW Legislation. The extent of manager’s duties will be affected by the scale and nature of the project.

We will ensure that those appointed or engaged on a project are competent [2] to comply with health safety requirements. In practical terms, this means thecapital works project team will implement procedures that check the competence[3] of others such asselection of contractors. This is achieved by using the Government assessment scheme CHAS assess contractors, suppliers and consultants on their Health and safety policy statement, Their organisation for health and safety and Their specific health and safety arrangements to a standard acceptable to the end user.

As the client it is our responsibility to ensure that consultants and contractors are promptly provided with pre-construction information,  information which is relevant to the health and safety of those engaged in, affected by the work or using the structure as a future workplace, this will include the information in any relevant existing health and safety file.

Legal Responsibilities
Capital works project managers controlling construction works have health and safety responsibilities[1]. These responsibilities are set out predominantly in the The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 Regs 2007 and the legislation set out below.

Our duties encompass checking that working conditions are healthy and safe before work begins, and ensuring that the proposed work is not going to put others at risk, this applies whatever the size of the site. The capital works team will liaise with all stakeholders to review safety polices, site meetings will include a safety section and weekly and monthly reports on health and safety matters will be requested on all projects.  The project team will tour or visit any works being carried out to ensure compliance to both government and College policy.


  1. Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA)
  2. Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSW)
  3. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH)
  4. Noise at Work Regulations (NAWR)
  5. The Control of Asbestos Regulations
  6. The Dangerous Substances (Notification and Marking of Sites) Regulations 1990
  7. Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations
  8. Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging) Regulations
  9. Manual Handling Operations Regulations
  10. Electricity at Work Regulations
  11. Fire Precautions Act
  12. The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations
  13. Workplace Health Safety and Welfare (WHSW) Regulations

Specific Measures of Control

All methods of monitoring and controlling project activities relating to health and safety at Birkbeck College must adhere to the Health and safety Hand book for contractors working at Birkbeck and the College’s general health and safety policy

 All elements of project health and safety are to be agreed at tender stage andspecific controls are to be budgeted as part of the project cost. We would expect this to include site demise control such as hoardings, temporary fire and evacuation measures, project related signage, rodent control, waste management measures, contractor’s welfare facilities, accident reporting methods and any other specific measures as the project requires.


The College’s policy for asbestos management is provided by the link and must be strictly adhered to.

If you discover asbestos, or suspect that a material might be asbestos:-

         Stop work immediately.

         Tell your workmates and other workers to stop working.

         Tell your supervisor.

         If your supervisor is not present, make sure that the work area is cleared and if possible make sure that the asbestos cannot be disturbed.

         Your supervisor will be responsible for contacting the Estates and Facilities Department Help Desk on phone extension 2001.

         The help desk will contact the appropriate person who will check registers and arrange for sampling to be taken.

         Under no circumstances should you or any of your colleagues disturb the materials until they have been confirmed as not being asbestos.

Risk Assessments and Method Statements
All contractors must provide a written Risk Assessment and Method Statement for all work that they are going to carry out. Risk Assessments must include assessments of manual handling operations, COSHH, fire and all other legal considerations. These then must be issued for approval to the capital works project team before any works are carried out.

Permits to Work
The College operates the following Permits to work.

         Works on or near, asbestos.

         Works in confined spaces.

         Works on Electrical services.

         Hot works.

         Works on non – domestic gas services.

         Works on lifts.

         Works on pressure systems.

         Works on fire alarms or Emergency lighting.

         Works within laboratories.

         Hazardous or Restricted Areas.

A permit must be requested from the capital works project team before the undertaking any of the above works. Contractors must have a valid Permit to Work displayed at all times.

Personal Protective Equipment

Contractors have a legal duty to provide / wear any PPE which is required to safely carry out the construction activities as required as part of the project. Where contractors fail to adhere to this policy they will be removed from the project.

Safety Signs

Safety signs are a good way of warning others about the risks posed by your works. You should remember that the College has a lot of different people working or studying within its buildings.

First Aid

If a contractor or any members of the project team have an accident call Emergency Hotline on extension 555. The College has a dedicated team of First Aiders who will be able to give assistance more quickly than the emergency services. Always report accidents to your Site Supervisor or College contact and make sure that they record the accident in the College online accident book.


If You Discover a Fire

         Operate the nearest emergency call point or call the Emergency Hotline on extension 555. The College attendant staff will call the Fire Brigade.

         Never put yourself at risk.

         Leave the building by the nearest exit, and assemble at the building control point. Do not stop to collect personal belongings. Do not use the lifts.

If You Hear a Fire Alarm

         Make your work area safe.

         Leave the building by the nearest exit.

         Do not stop to collect any personal belongings.

         Assemble at the building control point.

Project staff must never attempt to go back in the building until the either the Fire Brigade have advised it is safe to do so.

If You Accidentally Set the Fire Alarm Off

Call the emergency hotline IMMEDIATELY on extension 555.

By acting quickly the project staff member can prevent the fire brigade being called out and perhaps save someone else’s life. If the Fire Brigade is answering a false alarm they cannot be elsewhere fighting a real fire. If you are creating dusts or non-hazardous fumes, make sure that you have located the Capital Works project team to ensure the area to be made safe, prior to any dusty works commencing.   Contractors must not cover smoke detection systems themselves this must be requested with the capital works project team who will make the appropriate arrangements.

Useful Contact Telephone Numbers

In the first instance contact capital project managers for assistance

Capital Works Staff

Director of the Estate

David Mcghie

0207 6316015

Senior Capital Works Project Manager

Malcolm Pearson

0207 6316029

Capital Works Project Manager

Caroline Smith


College Contacts

Emergencies                                              555

Helpdesk                                                    0207 6312001

College Safety Officer                          0207 6316218

Attendants (Malet St Reception)     0207 6316031

Switchboard                                              0207 6316000

Maintenance                                             0207 6316024

Facilities                                                     0207 6316020

Projects                                                      0207 6316029

12 February 2013

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Health & Safety Services, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX. Tel: 020 7631 6218, email: