Building safety and employee health is a top priority for facility management professionals.
Promoting office safety and security often overlap with other goals, like lower operational costs and improved working conditions for staff.
How do facility management companies ensure building safety and employee health?
Facility managers maintain safe, secure buildings by taking action on various measures to prevent and mitigate hazards.
Building safety is accomplished by inspecting a property for potential health and safety risks, developing an action plan to address these risks, and improving resilience.
The Most Common Building Safety Issues for Commercial Buildings
- Fire Safety: fire suppression systems are installed correctly, including sprinklers and alarms.
- Electrical Safety: all electrical systems are code-compliant, properly maintained, and inspected on a regular basis.
- Slip and Fall Hazards: identify and solve uneven surfaces, wet floors, loose carpeting, or obstructed walking areas.
- Indoor Air Quality: properly maintained HVAC systems, clean ductwork, and unclogged air filters.
- Security: maintain and inspect security systems, from surveillance or security cameras, locks, alarms, and other security measures.
- Emergency Preparedness: well-defined plans for rapid response to natural disasters, medical emergencies, or other unusual occurrences in a commercial building.
- Hazardous Materials: eliminating and controlling for toxic chemicals, asbestos, lead, mercury, chlorofluorocarbons, etc.
Assessing risks means finding ways to promote employee health and comfort — all of which impact productivity and engagement.
A comprehensive risk assessment starts with the following:
- Identifying primary risks
- Assess them and organize them by priority
- Develop mitigation strategies
- Monitor controls to ensure effective maintenance procedures
- Consistently review and improve
Always have a plan. This is a core motto in the FM industry. In fact…
Most facility management companies draft contingency plans to address any and all potential incidents, including events like fires, floods, and various natural disasters.
These plans often include detailed procedures for evacuating the building, calling emergency hotlines, or administering medical aid to people in need.
Facility management companies make regulatory compliance a priority. These code regulations are in place to promote safety and security for commercial properties, as well as general health for occupants (employees and customers alike).
FM managers carefully consider the security of your building by thoroughly reviewing the regulatory requirements for your facility, thereby preventing legal liabilities, protecting the environment, and improving operations as a whole.
Common Regulatory Requirements:
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Local Building Codes for Structural Safety, Electrical Systems, Plumbing & More
Energy Efficiency Standards (Vary by State)
Regular On-Site Inspection & Equipment Maintenance
The most important part of building safety is understanding the assets within a building and ensuring that they work effectively. This is where regular maintenance and inspection come in.
All building systems are reviewed. Everything from HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and fire safety systems are essential to ensure they are functioning correctly and pose no risk to building occupants.
Facility management companies should also carry out routine maintenance and repair work to keep the systems in good working order.
Cleaning & Disinfection
High-touch surfaces (door knobs, handrails, or elevator buttons) and areas with high foot traffic should be consistently cleaned and disinfected to prevent the spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses in the office building.
Clean, well-kept areas in your office are a critical component of maintaining a safe and healthy atmosphere for employees and customers. This is why many facility management teams offer “soft services” like janitorial work or waste management.
Employee Training & Awareness
At Omnia360, we always discuss safety protocols and procedures with our staff. We clearly and briefly explain what employees should do to promote a safe, secure working environment.
The same standard applies to most, if not all, businesses.
Building occupants should be aware of potential risks and be taught to respond effectively to emergencies. Education and know-how can go a long way in promoting a safer property.