Construction Safety

General Construction Safety

Construction Activities by Contracted Companies: UVM’s Physical Plant Department (PPD), Facilities, Design & Construction (FD&C), Athletics Department, Transportation & Parking Services (T&PS), and others may contract with non-UVM personnel (“Contractors”) to conduct construction or renovation activities. Contractors are responsible for the safety of their employees and compliance of their actions.

·       Contract documents hold the Contractor solely responsible for the safety and compliance of the construction activities and contracted personnel, including sub-contractors. These documents should also hold the contractor responsible for the safety of the public at and around their site.

·       FD&C, PPD and RMS identify UVM-owned hazards to contractors prior to construction activities. These may include existing confined spaces, asbestos containing materials, lead pain and laboratory chemicals.

·       Contractors must submit any required written safety plan to the Hiring or Project Manager prior to commencing the work covered by that plan to be reviewed for completeness, but not compliance.

·       The Hiring Managers and/or Project Manager is responsible for holding the contractor accountable to these elements of the contract.  UVM’s Hiring and Project Managers are required to hold current “30-hour” OSHA cards, signifying they have completed a review course of OSHA construction standards.

·       UVM Risk Management & Safety Department (RMS) and PPD’s Training & Compliance Office (TCO) are available to assist the Hiring and Project Managers assess the safety and compliance of the sites that they oversee.

Construction Activities by UVM Employees: PPD employees conduct construction activities directly. These activities include maintenance projects, roofing projects and smaller scale renovations. 

·       All PPD employees receive the “10-hour” construction card signifying they have received awareness training on the recognition, avoidance, abatement and prevention of workplace hazards.

·       TCO oversees safety and compliance of PPD activities.

Other departments, such as Residential Life and Athletics, perform more limited construction/remediation activities and do not have dedicated safety staff.

·       Managers and supervisors in those departments are responsible to ensure hazards are assessed and controlled, employees are trained, and other compliance activities are completed.

·       TCO and RMS provide training and assistance as needed.

Interaction between UVM Community and Construction Activities:  Construction activities sometimes occur with clearly separate sites with chain-link fences and sometimes occur on pedestrian walkways with no clear separation.  Construction activities almost always generate noise, dust, odors and vibration. Construction traffic must travel through UVM campus and use UVM spaces for parking, storage and activities. These risks are jointly managed by all parties.

·       Contractors and personnel performing the tasks are responsible to delineate the boundaries of their work and control entry as appropriate.  This may involve chain-link fences, yellow tape, orange cones, signal personnel or signs. They also must control dust, odors, noise, vibration and traffic levels.

·       Project Managers are responsible for signs surrounding sites that direct campus personnel to detours or appropriate pathways. They also are responsible to communicate when excessive noise, dust, odors, vibrations, traffic & utility disruptions will occur.

·       UVM T&PS manage the signage for on-campus roadways, shuttle paths and parking areas. UVM Campus Planning Service oversees installation of new signs for campus wayfinding and identification. UVM Grounds maintains the road surfaces and wayfinding signs. Project Managers must coordinate with these groups when construction site or traffic has far-reaching impacts.

·       RMS personnel assess whether campus community is adequately informed and protected and assist as necessary.