Expert Safety Tips for Facilities Management

When the conversation turns to dangerous professions, what jobs first come to mind? Working in a mine, an oil refinery, or the construction industry typically brings a certain risk. But what about maintaining institutional and commercial facilities?

A top priority for every maintenance and engineering manager is protecting building occupants and visitors. But managers too often forget the people who work behind the scenes and perform the most dangerous tasks — front-line maintenance and engineering technicians.

To avoid injuries, you must invest in techniques that emphasize safety and quality. Cutting-edge technologies and resources will provide your team with an enhanced safety level and help reduce overall facility maintenance costs.


Top safety practices for proper facilities management

Know the difference between predictive, preventative, and reactive maintenance. 

"There are generally three approaches to building maintenance used by facility managers:

  • Reactive – This is the "fix it when it breaks" approach.
  • Preventative – This is the "check it and make repairs before it breaks" approach.
  • Predictive – This is the "use technology to forecast when a problem will occur and provide maintenance accordingly" approach.

The most common type of maintenance employed by facility managers is the "reactive" approach. According to a post by Akita Box on preventative maintenance planning, 85 percent of total maintenance spending is on reactive maintenance. –Neal Peters, Top Ways to Reduce Maintenance Costs for Your Facility, DPM Care; Twitter: @dpmcare

Although presumed to be cost-saving, reactive maintenance has its disadvantages, including higher safety violations and concerns. Employ a preventative and or predictive approach to ensure your workers and patrons are operating in the safest environment. 


Comply with all OSHA safety standards

In a typical year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issues more than 40,000 citations.

To avoid injury to technicians and citations and fines, managers must develop a plan for worker safety that complies with OSHA and creates a healthier environment for technicians.While managers emphasize safety in training and supervising their technicians, departments still commit many common violations related to:

  • personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • electrical hazards
  • machine guarding
  • hazard communication
  • flexible, extension cords
  • fall protection
  • lockout and tagout on energized equipment
  • a blocked or obstructed portable fire extinguisher
  • welding and compressed gasses
  • documented training records.

Managers must ensure these common violations do not hamper the department's efforts to create a safe work environment.


Appropriately light every working situation 

Often overlooked, proper lighting can make an astounding difference in your workers' safety and quality of work they perform. Adequate lighting is critical to work in tight 

spaces, on buildings, outside, or in every environmental condition. High-quality hands-free lighting that can withstand the elements is essential to protecting your workers and helping them finish the job effectively and efficiently.

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