How to create a strong and highly effective Facility Health and Safety Program?

In order to be successful in engineering and maintenance management, 3 components must be balanced out by managers: safety, cost and quality. In other words, providing the highest quality service at the lowest cost and in the safest manner.

If not addressed properly however, safety can be a major cost. In order to protect employees, visitors and the public from harm therefore, managers must put certain procedures in place. Hence, such procedures are the basis for a strong and efficient facility program for safety and health – especially since they enable managers to provide top quality services and ensure safety.

It is clear: If you take care of your people, you will therefore take care of your business, with people being the most important aspect of any business.

Overall, any successful organization must have a culture in which continuous improvement is promoted, with it being a key characteristic of its Mission and Core Values, and all employees involved in the process, in addition to working hard to identifying risks which may cause injuries and eliminating them.

The goal is to minimize risks to department employees, occupants and visitors. Contractors who work with the organization must share the same commitment to health and safety across the organization.

What should be put in place for a strong and successful health and safety program?

Personnel from all departments must clearly understand their roles related to health and safety and contribute to continuous improvement in this field. In addition to both understanding and implementing the Mission and core values, a culture must be enforced within the organization with the following elements:

  • Accountability: Commitment to health and safety is met with reward, and unsafe acts to be addressed with accordingly.

  • Employees who see a safety concern, should feel empowered to speak up on the spot, in addition to having confidence that the concern they report will be dealt with.

  • Employees have the right to stop their work if they feel that risks haven’t been reduced and /or if they are placed in harm.

  • Budget and resources are allocated efficiently to guarantee a strong health and safety system.

  • Decision making is driven by health and safety data culture

  • Health and safety efforts go beyond the workplace, even in the homes and communities of employees.

Plan-Do-Check-Action (PDCA)

Before getting into details regarding a strong health & safety program of a facility organization, note that such a program requires continuous improvement and change. Hence, a goof model which should be used is the PDCA Model, which is summarized here below:

  • Plan: Setting processes and objectives required to deliver the results being sought.

  • Do: Implementing the objectives outlined in the “Plan Phase”

  • Check: Extremely important since it measures the effectiveness of both the objectives set and the processes. In this phase, the data generated from the “Do” Phase is evaluated.

  • Act

Putting PCDA to work: How does a PDCA Cycle contribute to a strong health and safety plan in facilities organization?

Obviously, the plan for strong health and safety must be a good one. Such elements include identifying requirements to be followed, forming a procedure to identify and assess risk; and forming a process for change management.

The safety policy is the course of action used by the organization to ensure that all employees, tenants and stakeholders are all kept in good health.

Keeping up to date records of regulatory and corporate requirements is proof of the facilities organization meeting its obligation for health and safety from regulatory and corporate angles.

With identification of risks and hazards, assessment and control being key parts of a strong health and safety system, it allows the organization to reduce injuries and eliminate casualties in the workplace.

While change management is a standard and consistent method used for administering changes to people, processes and property regardless of being temporary or permanent, It’s a systematic approach aimed at guaranteeing the continued safety of the workforce throughout the process.

If any aspect of the Plan phase of PDCA should be highlighted, it is management of change. Based on Accident Reports, hasty decisions made under pressure lacking a balanced evaluation, were the reason for many serious problems.

Hence, it is no time waster to think in a disciplined manner. If the change management process being applied is efficient, it will definitely not delay or prevent progress from being made when placed in a real emergency.

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