5 Steps Facilities Managers Can Take to Promote Workplace Safety



In 2021, a staggering 5,190 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S., as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s a harrowing realization that workplaces, often perceived as controlled environments, can become the stage for devastating accidents. 

Imagine entering your office or job site, a place where you’ve built connections and fostered growth, only to encounter unseen hazards that hold the potential to change lives forever. The onus of these growing numbers doesn’t just lie with machinery malfunctions or environmental factors; it speaks volumes about a systemic lapse in prioritizing workplace safety. 

But where does one begin to rectify this escalating issue? 

The role of facilities managers is more vital than ever in this scenario. Their strategic interventions can transform the face of workplace safety, ensuring environments where productivity thrives, unhindered by looming risks. Dive into our detailed exploration on the steps facilities managers can take, and learn how businesses can transition from mere statistics to pioneers in workplace security.

The Role of Facilities Managers

At the helm of maintaining this safety, facilities managers work diligently, often behind the scenes. Their broad range of duties includes overseeing the upkeep and functionality of a workspace. It’s a pivotal role ensuring everything operates without hitches, thereby directly promoting a hazard-free environment. This connection between facilities management and safety further emphasizes their significance in the organizational hierarchy.

Steps to Enhance Workplace Safety

With their distinct role, facilities managers have several strategies at their disposal to enhance safety:

Regular Safety Audits

Conducting consistent walk-throughs of the facility to identify potential hazards or safety violations is of utmost importance. The primary aim here is to spot issues before they culminate into accidents. Safety audits might be necessary monthly, quarterly, or even weekly depending on the industry and nature of the work environment.

Maintain Equipment Regularly

Equipment malfunction can do more than just hamper operations; it can pose serious safety threats. Ensuring all apparatuses are in optimal working condition is paramount. This is not only about reactive repairs when something goes wrong, but rather a proactive approach. This involves scheduling regular checks and using reliable facility management software to preemptively tackle any issues.

Employee Training and Education

Knowledge is power. When employees are well-informed on how to handle machinery and act responsibly in their respective workspaces, the chances of mishaps are reduced. Training can span from hands-on workshops on machine operation to seminars on ergonomics or the ever-essential fire safety drills.

Emergency Preparedness

Even with utmost precautions, emergencies can be unpredictable. Facilities managers should have robust contingency plans. Conducting regular drills, like fire or earthquake preparedness exercises, is a must. Additionally, having a lucid emergency response plan that’s accessible to all staff members is crucial.

Effective Communication Channels

Open lines of communication have an underlying role in workplace safety. If an employee spots a potential hazard, they should have the means to report it swiftly. This can be achieved with tools like FieldCircle or simply through suggestion boxes or dedicated communication hotlines. Ensuring every individual feels they can voice concerns is pivotal.

Challenges Facilities Managers Face

Achieving a smooth and secure work environment can be a difficult task. Facilities managers are often faced with the challenge of balancing budgetary constraints with safety requirements. Allocating resources for safety initiatives can be a daunting task, but the long-term gains in terms of fewer accidents and improved productivity justify such investments.

On the other hand, safety regulations keep evolving. Managers must stay informed about the latest changes and ensure the facilities remain compliant. Any failure to do so can result in legal consequences.

Facilities managers should proactively identify and integrate safety-enhancing technologies that align with their organization’s goals. Leveraging technology can improve safety monitoring, incident reporting, and emergency response.

Wrapping up

In business operations, workplace safety stands out as a non-negotiable. It’s an investment in a company’s most treasured assets – its people. As businesses pivot and progress, the unwavering commitment of facilities managers to safety will remain paramount. For leaders in the corporate world, it’s crucial to understand that a secure workspace transcends mere accident prevention; it lays the foundation for growth, innovation, and sustained success.



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