Building Access, Key Distribution, After Hours Safety and Security

To be read in conjunction with
Approval Date
31 August 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: Corporate Services
Baldrige Criteria

To enable appropriate access for staff and learners to Otago Polytechnic Limited facilities, cognisant of health and safety and practical operational restraints.


To minimise security risks associated with grand master keys and allocation of access cards and keys, and to inform staff and learners of responsibilities, emergency services and support available to them whilst operating outside public access hours.

Where Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) staff and learners are required, or choose to work, in multi-sites and variable hours of the day or week, this flexibility in working is supported by Otago Polytechnic Ltd.


1.         The normal public access hours of business for Otago Polytechnic Ltd facilities are 8.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday. The building doors automatically close at 5.00pm.

1.1.         Exceptions are in place to facilitate ease of access for other learning, e.g. night classes, and on request for an event.

2.         Staff on commencement of employment at Otago Polytechnic Ltd will be issued with the appropriate proximity tag, or key(s) allowing 24/7 access to their work area and all open access areas. A register of tags, and keys is maintained by the appropriate system on each Campus.

2.1.         Requests for additional or replacement proximity tags and/or keys or access to other Otago Polytechnic Ltd buildings and/or internal spaces must be approved by a Formal Leader and emailed to Campus Services to update the register.

3.         Learners on enrolment, and when issued an ID card, will have extended access to the Hub area (Dunedin based learners only) from 7.00 am–10.00 pm every day. Additional access to the learner’s area of study can be negotiated with their School/College using the form - Negotiated Building Access Approval for Learners.

4.         At certain times of the year it may be necessary for learners to work longer hours than the extended access hours (referred to in clause 3), e.g. when setting up for annual Learner exhibitions or events. In such cases the College/Service Area Formal Leader may request an extension of access hours for a specified period for specified learners using the Negotiated Building Access Approval form.

4.1.         For any negotiated access after-hours, the College/Service Area involved will ensure that the learners are provided with supervision as appropriate, including access to a staff member they can contact after hours for access/security support.

4.2.         By agreeing to standard Otago Polytechnic Ltd employment and/or enrolment terms and conditions, staff and learners accept that before gaining extended access hours privileges they will have:

a.              completed a local work area induction, which includes emergency procedures for that area;

b.              read and agreed to abide by the area hazard register and relevant Otago Polytechnic Ltd Health and Wellbeing Policies.

5.      Access to workshops and areas where hazardous processes, equipment or chemicals are stored and/or used, such as, but not limited to, A block engineering and automotive workshops, L block carpentry workshops, M block kitchens, H block, N block and P block Design and Art School workshops and some studios, is only available during public access hours and in a supervised manner, or by specific negotiation with Head of College or Formal Leader (refer to SOP Building Access Key Distribution After Hours Safety and Security - Negotiated Building Access Approval for Learners.). Please check with your School/College office for restricted areas.

5.1.     In addition, for access to workshops, any person will have:

a.              gained a licence to operate specified machinery and equipment;

b.              ensured that two (2) approved and licenced persons are always within calling distance i.e. in the same room;

c.              a current first aid certificate and be appropriately trained.

6.          An Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) approved handler must be immediately available if using hazardous substances for access to storage areas and use of substances.

7.          For security reasons, the number and distribution of grand master keys are controlled at Executive Leadership Team level and determined by the Deputy Chief Executive: Corporate Services.

7.1.         The Director: Campus Environment will maintain a register of grand master key holders.

8.          All keys are stamped with a key identifier. The Director: Campus Environment must approve any request and arrange for the cutting/copying of any key.

9.          When a staff member leaves Otago Polytechnic Ltd employment the staff member’s Formal Leader is to follow the “Departure Check List” with keys and/or proximity tags to be returned to Campus Services.

10.      After-hours access is a privilege, not a right.  Any staff member or learner who breaches the extended hours access privileges may, following investigation (or immediately if serious) of cases in which they put themselves, others, or Otago Polytechnic Ltd property at risk have their extended hours access rights revoked either temporarily or on a permanent basis. Refer to policy Learner Discipline.

11.      Otago Polytechnic Ltd has one central phone number (03) 474 7290 which is accessible 24 hours. For any issues regarding security or access please phone this number and an on-call staff member will be able to assist. This number will be clearly visible in all rooms open to staff/learners.

12.      If a person is working outside of “public access hours” they must ensure the following:

a.              have a mobile phone handy and/or know where the nearest landline is;

b.              never block doors open to allow others in or out;

c.              check that ground floor windows are closed and locked when the room is unoccupied;

d.              others are not allowed into a building unless they can show an Otago Polytechnic Ltd identification, including staff, learners, and contractors;

e.              equipment (other than a computer) is not operated when the person is alone.

13.      All Polytechnic staff and learners are to promptly report incidents, accidents, near misses, and hazards, and to complete the appropriate form via the Health and Safety online reporting system. Information and training about this system and the requirements for completion of forms can be obtained from the Safety and Wellbeing Advisor and with reference to policy Accident, Incident, Injury, and Illness - Reporting and Rehabilitation.

14.      Otago Polytechnic Ltd has engaged an external company to undertake regular security patrols of our campuses. Both these security staff and the contracted cleaning staff have the authority to ask any staff member or learner to leave should they discover a safety or security breach. In addition, the on-call staff member may ask the security company to patrol a particular area if concerns have been raised.

  • Relevant area/building Hazard Registers
  • Accident, Incident, Injury, and Illness - Reporting and Rehabilitation Policy
  • Learner Discipline Policy
  • Negotiated Building Access Approval for Learners Form

megan gibbons signature

Approved by:
Dr. Megan Gibbons
Chief Executive