Many schools use the school holidays to schedule essential maintenance or building work. Continually investing in the fabric of the school is all part and parcel of creating the right learning environment for staff and pupils alike.
The Queen's College, Oxford, dates back to the 14th Century after it’s patroness Queen Philippa of Hainault. Today the challenge for John Bailey, Deputy Clerk of Works and the team is to respect the history and charm of the dreaming spires whilst taking advantage of the latest innovations.
Recent building projects include the installation of microphones in the school chapel, replacing windows 8 metres from floor level and creating a new underground library. Of course this type of work will invariably mean managing 3rd party contractors on-site, an area where John wanted make some improvements.
"The college wanted to put in place a user friendly system of recording contractors visits and permits for some time. All contractors need to be badged and officially signed-in to the college. We needed to know the time a contractor comes on-site and record what they are doing, where they are working and other important details. This facility would enable us to assess any risk, issue appropriate permits, ensure their safety and meet Health & Safety guidance and legislation."
John was tasked with researching a solution that would be suitable. Following a Google search John contacted SG World and requested a face to face discussion with the local SG World representative.
"Given the feedback after initial contact I felt that SG World had given the most positive response and were most likely to fulfil our needs. Although we hadn’t had any issues before the implementation of the SG World solution I was aware we didn’t keep a record, no times, dates or even who worked on-site."
By using the Authorisation to Work system Queen's College introduced best practice guidance in recording all required contractor information and badging the contractor. The Authorisation to Work badge also informs the contractor of Health & Safety, Fire and Emergency, COSHH and Smoking policies, what’s more this information is with the contractor and visible on the badge at all times.
On completing the work the Queen's College designated person will check the work has been completed safely, sign-off any high risk permit activities and sign the contractor off-site which will also remove them from the emergency fire roll call list. It also has the added benefit of providing accurate information for invoicing purposes.
"The facility to add our logo and change some of the text on the visitor/contractor passes was most useful. The SG World representative was very helpful in advising and facilitating these adaptions."
The contractor passes were issued in a hi-vis armband wallet; a practical way to ensure they didn’t get in the way during any work, yet highly visible for the duration of the job.
"In addition to the Contractor Authorisation to Work solution we also implemented the SG World range of high risk activity permits and a separate Visitor pass system. The permits ensure high risk activities such as Working at Heights or Confined Spaces are managed correctly. For visitors, we have an accurate up to date fire roll call list, everyone is informed of our policies and carries a valid Queen's College visitor pass to say they are formally signed-in and a valid visitor."
"The whole process from enquiry to delivery went really smoothly. Our contact at SG World was extremely knowledgeable and we never felt the pressure of a "hard sell". We’re all very pleased with the way the system works. It’s been adopted by everyone and the porters have taken to the system very well, everyone that used the system seems to like it."