USGS - science for a changing world

U.S. Geological Survey Manual

SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 33

Contractor Safety and Health

Instruction: This chapter is revised to address organizational changes, reflect current guidance and responsibilities.

1. Purpose. This chapter outlines specific requirements for employees with responsibility for projects that bring contractor personnel into U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) facilities; e.g., laboratories, offices, or field worksites and may expose contractor personnel to hazardous working conditions or materials.

2. Authorities/References.

A. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

B. 485 DM Chapter 24, Contractor Safety and Health.

C. Acquisition Operating Procedure, Specifications and Performance Based Statements of Work.

D. Acquisition Operating Procedure, Purchase Requests.

3.  Requirements.

A. Workplace safety applies to all employers as a matter of law and is enforced by the Government as the sovereign through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

B. Enforcement of workplace safety statutes are not the responsibility of the USGS as a contracting party. However, the USGS does have an obligation to ensure that contractors and subcontractors perform their duties in a manner that will not endanger the safety and health of USGS employees, volunteers, the public, or themselves as they work in or visit USGS facilities.

C. The USGS is responsible for ensuring that contractor personnel are made aware of safety issues affecting their work; e.g., work in confined spaces, building-specific conditions such as occupant emergency plans or exposures to potentially hazardous working conditions or hazardous materials.

D.  End users are responsible for notifying the Contracting Officer (CO) of safety factors, issues, or concerns to ensure appropriate source selection criteria and contract language is utilized in the procurement process, contract award and administration.

4.  Responsibilities.

A.  Director.

(1) Requires compliance with statutory, regulatory, and contractor safety program criteria;

(2)  Holds the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO), Associate Directors, and Regional Directors accountable for effectively fulfilling contractor safety program responsibilities within region, mission area, or office;

(3)  Delegates sufficient authority to the DASHO to effectively manage and administer the contractor safety program.

B.  Associate Directors and Regional Directors. Provide staff and funding support to ensure region, mission area, or office promotion of Contractor Safety Program activities.

C.  Designated Agency Safety and Health Official/Associate Director for Administration.

(1)  Exercises the authority of the Director to establish, develop, direct, and manage an effective Contractor Safety Program.

(2)  Assigns Contractor Safety Program authority to the Chief, Office of Management Services, for program management and administration.

D.  Chief, Office of Management Services. Assigns Contractor Safety Program responsibilities to the OSH Program Manager for program management and administration.

E.  Bureau and Regional Safety and Health Staff.

(1)  Serve as principal technical experts on safety and occupational health issues, providing subject matter expertise to the CO, Contracting Officer Representative (COR), or Government Inspector, and other employees, as applicable, in developing contractor requirements documents and/or contract language to address USGS building or worksite-specific safety issues such as:

(a)  Lockout/Tagout procedures.

(b)  Unique facility operations, chemicals, and other activities specific in scope to that facility.

(c)  USGS-unique policies that protect the safety, health, and well-being of all persons within USGS owned or leased facilities that affect contracted work.

(d)  The conduct of USGS field operations that affect contracted work.

(2)  Review program compliance with safety and occupational health policies during safety reviews. Ensure that the CO and COR are notified in writing of any violations noted during these reviews that may affect contractor performance since only the CO can issue a stop work order for imminent danger situations. A project COR does not have the authority to terminate, for any cause, the contractor’s right to proceed.

(3)  Upon request of the CO, provide contractors and subcontractors with on-site briefings/training concerning safety policies and procedures specific to the USGS that may affect the performance of the contracted work. This briefing/training will outline possible hazards in the workplace to which contractor personnel might be exposed. The briefing/training may be part of any post-award orientation requested by the CO, or may also be provided to new or replacement contractor personnel at the request of or upon advance approval of the CO, to avoid unauthorized labor charges or Government-caused delays to performance and delivery schedules.

(4)  Provide advice/assistance developing contractor safety requirements for hazardous operations or chemicals that may impact the safety and health of contractor personnel or performance of contracted work in a USGS owned or leased facility or in field locations.

(5)  Communicates through the CO and COR the following contractor requirements:

(a)  Provide, at their expense, any safety or protective gear contractor personnel may require in performance of the contracted work; (b) Follow site safety policy so as to not endanger contracting and facility personnel while working on site;

(c)  Prior to any work provide the local contact with a list of hazardous materials, including SDS of materials being brought on site;

(d)  Store and secure hazardous materials safely;

(e)  Immediately report to the USGS site contact and the CR any spills of hazardous materials, hazardous materials exposures, and injuries.

F.  Science Center Directors, Cost Center Managers, and Project Chiefs.

(1)  Ensure that adequate funding resources are provided to implement Contractor Safety Program activities.

(2)  Ensure that contractor accidents and incidents are reported to the local safety staff and documented within the Department of the Interior (DOI) Safety Management Information System (SMIS), as applicable. The SMIS entry should clearly note that the data entered is for a contractor employee working in a Government facility or at a Government field site. The name of the contractor employee should also be identified.

G.  Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators.

(1)  Assist organizational managers and supervisors in meeting safety and occupational health requirements and development of safety and health procedures specific to USGS unique operations at certain local facilities.

(2)  Perform periodic inspections of contractor worksites on USGS owned or leased facilities to ensure that contractor personnel are not creating hazards that can affect on-site personnel. Notify local management, the CO, and COR/Government Inspector in writing of any contractor safety violations noted during inspections for OSHA notification, enforcement, and follow-up.

H. Employees.

(1)  Employees who initiate contracts will include in the requirements documents the USGS safety policies and procedures addressing building- or worksite-specific safety issues. For example, if, in the course of contract performance, contractor personnel are expected to evacuate USGS buildings when a fire alarm activates or participate in USGS conducted on-site practical drills and exercises.

(2)  Employees who oversee contractor performance involving hazardous operations or hazardous chemicals will have adequate training in OSHA standards that pertain to the work being performed. Documentation of an OSHA 10-hour General Industry Outreach class or OSHA 10-hour Construction Industry Outreach class will meet the minimum requirement for the OSHA training, but additional training may be required depending on the location of the work, site conditions, and materials required.

(3)  Employees who oversee contractors will ensure that the requirements documents task the contractor with assigning an on-site Competent Person, who meets applicable certification/licensing standards defined in 29 CFR 1926.32(f), to oversee work activity, as required.

(4)  Employees who oversee contractors will ensure that the requirement documents stipulate that construction, renovation, repairs, or change of occupancy; e.g., office space converted to a laboratory, meet applicable Federal, State, or local codes prior to occupancy.

(5)  Employees who oversee contractors will require the contractor to provide a document or inspection record certifying code compliance, to be retained by each USGS owned or leased facility. See 29 CFR 1960.34 and SM 445-2-H Chapter 6 Inspections and Abatement, regarding pre-occupancy inspection requirements.

(6)  Employees who draft requirements documents or contract language that may involve workplace safety issues will obtain the advice and counsel of local USGS safety officials for subject matter expertise, where necessary.

(7)  Employees who develop safety requirements to be performed by contractor personnel are responsible for providing accurate and comprehensive information regarding facility and operational hazards to the CO so that appropriate contract language is included in award documents informing prospective contractors of existing site-specific conditions that can affect performance.

(8)  Employees are also responsible for keeping the CO and COR/Government Inspector apprised of any changes in activities or issues that can affect the potential safety and well-being of contractor personnel or require the contractor to adjust its performance to accommodate such changes. This information should include, but is not limited to, the following:

(a)  The location and existence of potentially hazardous conditions at the job site where contractor personnel may be exposed.

(b)  A list of hazardous substances and safety data sheets found in the USGS workplaces which may affect on-site contractor personnel, as required by OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.1200, Hazard Communication.

(c)  The locations of permit-required confined spaces where contractor personnel might be working and USGS policies concerning entry into these spaces, as required by OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.146, Permit-Required Confined Spaces.

(d)  The existence and location of asbestos-containing material and presumed asbestos-containing material, as required by OSHA standards 29 CFR 1910.1001, Asbestos; 29 CFR 1915.1001, Asbestos; and 29 CFR 1926.1101, Asbestos.

(e)  When applicable, provide information about the facility's lockout/tagout procedures and request information regarding the lockout/tagout procedures of the contractor and subcontractors, as required by OSHA standard, 29 CFR 1910.147, Control of Hazardous Energy.

(f)  When the contractor and/or subcontractor provides services at hazardous-waste sites, communicate information regarding the site emergency response procedures and any potential fire, explosion, health, safety, or other hazards of the hazardous-waste site operation that have been identified, including those identified in the information program, as required by OSHA standards 29 CFR 1910.120, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, and 29 CFR 1926.65, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.

I.  Contracting Officer.

(1)  Ensures that award documents address hazardous materials, site conditions, and/or hazardous work that contractor personnel may encounter while working at USGS facilities or field sites. Contracts for onsite performance not involving contractor personnel exposure to hazardous materials or working conditions should identify and address routine office-related hazards, as applicable.

(2)  Where appropriate, considers historical contractor accident rates in making an award determination. Prospective contactors with high lost time rates and overall total recordable incident rates (TRIR) above 1 or above the Federal average, based on using the most recent 3-year period be disqualified. Should a contractor with a high TRIR be considered an explanation for the negative accident history or risk receiving an overall unacceptable rating is required.

(3)  Maintains official communication and notification with the contractor concerning any safety or injury incidence involving contractor personnel.

(4)  Issues a stop work order for imminent danger situations, as applicable.

(5)  Informs OSHA, or other appropriate Federal, State or local officials, of instances where the contractor has been notified to take immediate action to correct serious or imminent dangers.

(6)  Follow the procurement specifications detailed in Specifications and Performance Based Statements of Work.

J.  Contracting Officer Representative/Government Inspector and Employees.

(1)  Keep the CO apprised of any safety or health-related issues that have a direct impact on the oversight and/or performance of contracted work.

(2)  Consult Bureau, regional or local safety staff to obtain assistance in addressing safety and health issues in statements of work.

(3)  Coordinate safety/health briefings, with the advance approval of the CO, when a new contract is awarded involving compliance with USGS unique safety and health requirements.

(4)  Report to the CO and Bureau or regional safety staff, where contractor safety violations are noted, to initiate OSHA enforcement and follow up to correct serious or imminent danger.

(5)  Follow guidance as detailed in Purchase Requests.


/s/ Jose R. Aragon                                                                             Oct 31, 2016
Jose R. Aragon                                                                                  Date
Designated Agency Safety and Health Official


SM 445-2-H Table of Contents || Handbooks || Survey Manual Home Page

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: OA, Office of Policy and Analysis
Last modification: 22-Aug-2017@14:07