A majority of the people think that safety is for the industries only. But, this is not correct. Workplace safety is applicable for industries and offices as well. Companies are employing facility managers to look after the safety provisions. Read on to know the safety responsibilities and practices for the facility managers.
Responsibilities of the facility managers
The changing business environment has made the facility manager’s jobs challenging. While they are responsible for maintaining health and safety in the office, expectations are growing every day. They have to tackle the potential risks and ensure compliance with the global requirements.
Due to this, they focus on many disciplines for the smooth running of the organization. They have to ensure that people are safe and secure while working. They have to plan and implement safety procedures and comply with the local legislation. Other than this, they also respond to the emergencies.
Fatal work injuries are unfortunately much more than what people think it to be. This is why the facility managers should know the followings.
1. Knowledge of local safety regulations
The safety compliance requirements are getting increasingly critical and comprehensive. Being a one-person solution for all safety issues, the facility manager should know the current requirements. This enables to chalk out plans for making the workplace safe and ensure compliance.
2. Fire safety procedures
Fire safety is an extremely serious concern in the offices. You cannot avoid all fires. But you can avoid being unprepared to tackle the fire. The facility manager must be aware of the firefighting protocols. He has to display all the information about this in an easy-to-understand language throughout the office.
It should be so easy that the visitors can understand what to do when there is a fire. The facility manager should also know to check electrical lines, smoke detectors, sprinklers, and fire extinguishers. In case there is a deviation, he should take immediate action.
3. Reducing slips and falls
Slips and falls are also a significant safety issue in the offices. Nothing is more dangerous than a wet floor. Spills and splashes are responsible for this. As a facility manager, you should know the probable places where this can happen without any notice. Arrangements should be made for mopping up such places regularly.
Display warning signs at such vulnerable spots. This will remind people to be cautious while passing through such areas. Also, remove all clutter from the pathways. This will reduce the chances of tripping over. Arrange regular inspection for eliminating these potential hazards. If required, skid-resistant floors should be suggested.
4. Ensuring electrical safety
Every year electrical injuries contribute to the workplace injuries. Among this; the shocks, burns, and falls are the most common. Unfortunately, these could be prevented with proper safety practices.
As a facility manager, you should see that there is proper insulating equipment. They should also be in good working condition. Also, arrange to check the circuit and chords for overloading. Any shortcoming has to be removed immediately.
Such moves are sure to reduce the electrical hazards and deliver a safe workplace.
5. Train on safe lifting technique
Back and shoulder injuries are also very common. The major cause of these is bad lifting habits of the people. As a facility manager, you should train people on ideal lifting practices for preventing such injuries.
6. Know the whereabouts of the employees
Not knowing the whereabouts of the employees can be disastrous. So, the facility manager should be able to track employees through cloud-based software. These brilliant offer solutions to disaster recovery.
7. Create an emergency action plan
Emergencies may crop up at any moment in the office due to circumstances beyond control. Natural calamities like earthquake, flood, etc can also be seriously threatening to everyone. The facility managers should chalk out action plans for such emergencies. Emergency exits are also to be marked with flow signs for guiding people. This will help fast evacuation make everyone in the office safe.
8. Asbestos management
Asbestos can lead to fatal diseases. So, the facility managers should be well conversant with asbestos management. They must be able to do the asbestos audit and ensure proper safety precautions against potential asbestos contamination.
9. Stay updated
Safety is an ongoing process. As accidents never happen with notices, situations may differ every day. This is why the facility manager must be aware of all innovations in this field. This will make him stay up-to-date on the current safety practices.
This can involve anything from process, technology and working habits. The facility manager must involve the entire office for a successful safety drive.
10. Role of the faux plants to keep the office safe
Decorating the office with silk trees and plants is better than using the live ones. They are practical and easy to care. You can get them as flowers, plants, trees, topiaries, and palms. Each of these is available in a plethora of varieties with facility for almost limitless customization.
Present day artificial plants and trees have perfectly textured trunks, branches, leaves, etc. Even the most experienced eyes have to struggle to tell if they are real or fake. Coming in fully grown sizes, they start adorning the place from day one.
These are clean product free form soil and water. They do not shed leaves and hence create no mess. These do not cause any allergy. People suffering from pollen allergy remain safe near the silk flower arrangements. This makes them a preferred choice for office décor.
Fire- retardant varieties of the artificial bonsai tree are safe for decoration. Impregnated with special fire retardant chemicals, they acquire self-extinguishing properties. Thus, they never help the fire spread. As these pseudo-natural greens do not grow mold or attract insects, they deliver a safe environment.
The facility manager must ensure that the office has a suitable work environment. This includes everything including safety. To be a successful office facility manager, you should be familiar with these practices. Knowledge of these will also help you to pass the interview.