Facility managers are often the unsung heroes of an organization. In particular, the global facility management market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.36% by 2027, so its importance cannot be underestimated.
The responsibilities of a facility manager are immense. This includes everything from building maintenance and inspections to space management and security. Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) also falls within the realm of facility management. This article briefly describes his four strategies that facility managers can use to ensure the safety and health of their employees.
1. Build a strong foundation
Something as important as employee health and safety requires a management system with a solid foundation. Facility managers should ensure that their OHS management system is firmly based on the Deming cycle, also known as Plan-Do-Check-Act, or the PDCA cycle. The PDCA’s comprehensiveness and simplicity explain its enduring popularity in all industries.
A systematic OHS management system not only ensures worker health and safety, it can also mean the difference between life and death. In 2005, a massive explosion at a BP refinery in Texas City, Texas killed 15 people, injured 180, and resulted in $3 billion in damages and legal settlements. Inadequate standards have resulted in numerous industrial disasters. A 2020 study of the disaster concluded that substandard process safety management (PSM) systems in place at refineries were the main cause of this horrific explosion.
An even more devastating industrial disaster was the massive explosion that rocked the Lebanese city of Beirut in August 2020. The incident killed at least 218 people (many far beyond the port where the explosion occurred), injured 7,000, and cost $15 billion. with property damage. Improper storage of explosives and hazardous chemicals was the main cause of the explosion.
2. Zoom in on the paper trail
Documentation may be the bane of a facility manager’s job, but it proves what has been done so far and what needs to be done. Think of documentation as a paper trail of your OHS management system. Importantly, it is the golden thread that links all components of the OHS system.
Policies and procedures are important in ensuring worker health and safety. Work instructions describe how to perform specific tasks, such as how to safely use an angle grinder in a tool manufacturing plant or what personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear on a construction site to limit inhalation of silica dust. You can let staff know.
Importantly, all documents must comply with general legal requirements. For example, we may need to track the evolution of rules regarding indoor and outdoor workers who may be exposed to hazardous heat, as proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in late 2021. .
3. Promote communication
Health and safety are very personal concerns, especially for employees who work in hazardous locations or perform hazardous tasks. Well-trained and risk-savvy employees are well aware that their health and safety are at risk. As such, facility managers should help foster open communication at all levels of the organization so that employees are free to voice their opinions and concerns regarding health and safety.
A great way to open up communication is to foster intergenerational communication that is often overlooked in the workplace. Different generations may have different health and safety concerns. For example, younger workers may need more practical guidance on safety measures, while older workers may be more concerned about chronic health risks associated with their work. Millennial facility managers should keep this in mind when dealing with baby boomer managers, Generation X and Generation Z colleagues and employees.
4. Foster a culture of health and safety
Company culture is very difficult to pinpoint, but we all know the difference between a good company culture and a bad company culture. So is health and safety. Health and safety efforts must be embedded within the organization and driven starting at the top. In the words of Worksafe Queensland, “A successful safety culture needs to be led from the top, which means that the CEO and senior management must embrace and implement safety culture.”
Mentoring is another great way to build a culture of health and safety based on communication, mutual trust, and personal growth. US-Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis was concerned about a lack of personal growth for certain employees. Implemented a successful mentoring program with an emphasis on cross-functional and cross-country he pairing of employees.
Prioritize employee health and safety
A facility manager has to juggle many functions. With the advent of smart him technology and the demands of the workplace by clients and employees post-COVID-19, the manager’s job has become more complicated and more complicated. But no matter how complex the workload becomes, protecting the health and safety of employees remains critical to facility managers. Beyond duty of care, it’s simply the right thing to do.