Contractor Safety Management Program

The University of Calgary considers health and safety to be a priority and as such is committed to promoting the health, safety, and wellbeing of its employees, students, visitors, and contractors. The University continually strives to meet or exceed best practice standards in health and safety as well as compliance with all applicable occupational health and safety legislation. 

As safety is a shared responsibility, the University requires the full cooperation of all contractors in maintaining and promoting a safe worksite. 

All contractors are required to meet or exceed the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation, and Code, and conduct their activities in accordance with the University's Contractor Safety Management Program and any other applicable University policies and programs.

Contractor Hiring Process

The University of Calgary strives to maintain a safe environment for students, staff, contractors and the public. As the University continually works to make our spaces more functional and inviting for our users, we must ensure that all projects are conducted in a safe and responsible fashion. 

The Contractor Safety Management Program is in place to standardize the hiring of contractors for construction and maintenance of University campus facilities. This includes any modifications of space such as redevelopment of University properties. This does not include knowledge-based contractors, installation of equipment where there is no modification of the spaces they are in, and servicing of equipment such as lab equipment.  

Please see the following procedure for hiring a contractor that is in scope for the Contractor Safety Management Program.  For more information or assistance, please contact

While contractors should review the entire Contractor Safety Management Program, key elements of the program include:

All contractors who perform work on campus must pass a prequalification process.  The University prefers ISNetworld (ISN) subscribed contractors who have attained a C or better grade through the ISN grading process, which includes a review of the company’s safety program, its injury statistics, insurance, COR Certification, and WCB experience and clearance.

In select situations, the University will accept non-ISN subscribed contractors for specific work who must complete a prequalification process with University Staff.  This requires submission of the contractor’s safety program manual, injury statistics, COR Certification, insurance, and WCB experience rating and clearance.

Before a contractor can be selected, the prequalification process must be complete.  In addition, the University will outline within tender documents whether a Prime Contractor will be assigned. 

For prime contractors a kickoff meeting will be held to communicate specific work safety requirements. This will include the hazards identified within the scope of the project and identify what University safety programs the contractor must meet or exceed. All workers must pass the University contractor orientation before workers begin work on the project.

Wherever the conditions exist for a Prime Contractor, the University will assign prime contractor status to the contractor.  A handover document detailing the Prime Contractor’s area of responsibility and the time and date of handover and release will be completed.

If a contractor is assigned Prime status, that contractor will ensure that they report monthly safety performance through ISN’s monthly site tracker.  Prime Contractors will ensure that they report on monthly inspections, site safety meetings, orientations, subcontractors present, incidents occurring on site, and working hours relevant to the project.  Prime Contractors working more than one project on University property must consolidate all project data and include it in their monthly report.  This report will be due on the 10th of each month, for the previous month worked.

Contractors who are not prime may be inspected in accordance with the Contractor Safety Management Program. 

For projects that have a cost over $500 000, are over one year in length, or require special safety considerations, a post project evaluation may be conducted by the University.  Additionally, projects that are over one year in duration may have a progress evaluation to ensure that both the contractor and University have met their requirements under the Contractor Safety Management Program.

Non–Prime Contractors: The University requires the reporting of all incidents to the contractor representative immediately.  This includes:

  • Injury incidents-first aid, medical aid, lost time.
  • Environmental incidents (e.g. Release of hazardous materials to the environment).
  • Near misses—unplanned events which under slightly different circumstances could cause or have caused an injury).

The Contractor Representative is responsible for the classification of the incident, completing the reporting in the OARS system, and ensuring the investigation is completed.

Prime Contractors:  A prime contractor must immediately report to the Contractor Representative all incidents that are required to be reported to external agencies and provide copies of the associated incident investigations reports to the University. The University has the right to conduct investigations into contractor safety incidents.  If the prime contractor is required to submit an incident investigation report to Alberta OHS, the University has the right to review the report before submission. The prime contractor must also report immediately any on-site visit by an OHS Officer.

University Health and Safety Programs and Procedures Applicable to Contractors

The University has developed a set of safety programs that are designed to promote compliance with regulations and superior safety performance.  These programs contain standards and processes specific to the University of Calgary that in some cases go beyond legal requirements.  These programs apply to University workers and contractors working on the University’s behalf including prime contractors and non-prime contractors.  The University of Calgary expects that contractors will meet or exceed applicable requirements of these programs.  These programs can be accessed using the links below:


    It is your responsibility as a contractor to the University of Calgary to identify programs applicable to your work and determine whether your current work practices meet or exceed program requirements.  If you have a question about applicability or whether a work practice meets a specific University of Calgary program requirement, contact the university representative responsible for oversight of the work to obtain clarification. 

    If a contractor proposes to carry out work in a manner that does not meet a University of Calgary program requirement, an explanation for the proposed deviation must be provided in writing to the University of Calgary describing how an equivalent level of safety will be achieved.  Permission for the deviation must be obtained in writing from the University of Calgary.

    When a direct contractor to the University of Calgary hires a subcontractor, it is the responsibility the direct contractor to ensure the subcontractor meets the requirements of the University of Calgary safety programs.

    Contractor Safety Orientation

    All contractor workers who perform work on university-owned or leased facilities must attend the Contractor Orientation offered by the EHS Department. The orientation is designed to inform workers of university policies, procedures, and programs and identify potential hazards. This orientation includes occupational health and safety requirements, emergency response, worksite specific hazards, reporting requirements, notification requirements, security requirements, and personal protective equipment requirements.

    Prime contractors are required to conduct a site-specific orientation for all contracted and subcontracted workers in addition to the University Contractor Orientation that outlines their company’s policies, procedures, and identifies potential hazards.

    Online contractor orientation is available though ISN. If your company is an ISN subscriber, your company ISN contact will have received information on how to access the orientation. If you are not subscribed to ISN or if you are unsure of who your company ISN contact is, please email the Orientation Instructor for assistance.

    Orientation Instructor: Trent Rankin (

    Please note that all contractor workers are required to take this orientation prior to arriving on site for work.

    When laboratories are part of the worksite, a laboratory tour should be included as part of the pre-project review due to the site specific nature of laboratory hazards.

    Contractor workers must attend an additional orientation if tunnel access is required.

    • Tunnel access orientation is conducted through the Campus Heating and Cooling Plant. Call 403.220.5339 to make arrangements for orientation.

    Facilities Department - Hazardous Energy Location Work Permit

    A permit is required for contractors and University workers to gain access to the utility tunnels and high voltage rooms on campus. This permit is issued by the Electrical Utilities Department. The permit form and associated instructions can be accessed using the links below.

    ISNetworld Prequalified Contractors - as of Apr/May 2022

    University staff wishing to hire contractors should review the Contractor ISN Grade Report linked below and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact for assistance.