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Katie Colleran

22 Aug 2016

Focus On Facilities

We're looking at how your facilities management teams work hard to keep your workplace clean, comfortable and hazard-free.

It's important to know who does what in a business, and who to contact if something goes wrong; that's why we've covered the basics for you here in a guide to what the often complex world of Facilities Management covers.

Health & Safety

From building maintenance and managing hazards to keeping up to date with ever-changing regulations, Heath and Safety is a big part of what facilities do. Health and Safety requirements depend on the industry you work in and whether your company is identified as a low or high risk business. For example, if you are exposed to hazardous substances or required to undertake manual activities, your employer should be providing the appropriate safety equipment and applying policies for workers to adhere to, where relevant.

When we think of Health and Safety we associate it with providing items such as fire extinguishers and first aid facilities. The Health and Safety Executive has put together a handy guide of basic information for employers to make sure businesses comply with the law, keeping the workforce and the general public safe.

We can also take additional measures to look after our staff. Whilst it isn't a legal requirement yet, here at ACS we've provided a defibrillator in case of emergency, and trained 6 staff on how to use it.

Cleaning

No matter where you work, your workplace must be kept clean to promote good hygiene and well-being for employees. And, if you're customer facing, your place of work needs to be kept spic and span for aesthetic purposes too. Would you spend your money in a grubby shop, or a clean one!?

Facilities may employ cleaning contractors, which means they'll take wider responsibility for them as employees. This means protecting them from hazardous substances, slips and trips, and falls when working at height such as when cleaning windows.

What about the products that cleaners use? It's not just antibacterial sprays and rubber gloves. Cleaners usually replenish items such as washroom supplies (hand soap, paper towels and toilet roll) and may have a responsibility for the equipment they use, such as ensuring vacuum cleaners are in good condition.

Cleaners have responsibility for you too: it's important that wet floor signs are readily available for them to use to warn others of slippy surfaces before they have dried.

Catering

Do you have a canteen or a kitchen at work? The latter is commonly the most dangerous room in the house, but it's important to remember that your kitchen is no less hazardous at work! It's good practice for facilities to consider the layout of your work kitchen by assessing the risks of slips, trips and falls, as well as cuts and burns, ensuring the kitchen is safe for use by employees.

Facilities will also replenish catering and vending supplies in your business, keeping your machine drinks and snacks topped up and your workforce hydrated and motivated.

If you're lucky enough to have a canteen at work, you expect sundries such as napkins, crockery and cutlery to be provided for your use which we can supply. And when clients visit, it's as good a time as any to break out the biscuits...

Security

Security is a diverse requirement for businesses. Whether you're employed as a security guard, are a keyholder for your business, or are just required to shred your confidential waste, most employees are responsible for a workplace's security to some degree.

Facilities will make sure any security related signage is visible to visitors, as well as ensuring gates, security fences and locks are secure and that CCTV is monitored. Facilities should also keep a log of recordings for future viewing if needed, such as in the case of criminal activity on site.

Some businesses may employ contractors to supply a one-stop security service. This is more common in retail environments, whereas in office environments, the front of house receptionist is usually the first point of contact for visitors. Keeping track of visitors to your business is not only paramount for security, but is also required in the event of incidents or fire drills whilst guests are on site.

Why not check out the Facilities section of our online store? We're proud to be a one-stop shop for all the products you need in the background to keep your business ticking over. store.acsacs.co.uk

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