Facilities management is the department or company who are responsible for the health and safety in commercial properties. There are a number of key challenges but three stand out from the rest – fire risk assessments, controlling asbestos and managing the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease. So how can health and safety software for facilities management help with these challenges?
Fire risk assessment
There is a requirement for virtually all businesses with a physical presence to have a fire risk assessment carried out. This looks at the possible risks within the business and what can be done to remove or reduce them. The basis for the process is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which makes it law for employers with five or more people to have a written fire risk assessment and a review process.
When facilities management is in charge of handling this, then the software they use is key. The right software will not only be able to keep a record of these assessments and the steps were taken but also prompt when a new assessment is needed. It can also handle accident reporting and investigations for any kind of incident and look at what changes are needed following this.
Any building that was built or renovated prior to 2000 is at risk of having asbestos on it. Asbestos is a mineral that was commonly used for insulation until it was realised that it was carcinogenic – it can cause cancer. Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, businesses have a duty to manage asbestos and this will often fall under the facilities management department or company.
An inspection for possible sources of asbestos should be carried out and includes areas not normally visited such as lofts or basements. If there is any sense that asbestos may be present, an expert needs to visit and conduct a thorough check. If a presence is found, then there are guidelines that apply to its removal or safe management.
The software can be used to record the tests and the actions recommended in them. If it isn’t safe to remove, the software can help manage the ongoing testing and management of the risk. It is also then able to provide relevant information if a new tenant moves into the building or if there are renovations or demolitions that the asbestos needs to be aware of before undertaking.
Legionnaires Disease control
Legionnaires Disease numbers are increasing, and any water system can potentially allow the bacteria to grow. Risks for this include humidifiers, air washers, indoor ornamental fountains, emergency showers and even air conditioning systems.
Facilities managers have to consider the risks of Legionnaires disease and take steps to reduce it while recording what work is done. This falls under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 as well as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). The software can record what checks are done, when new checks are needed and any staff training to help minimise these risk. Staff also need to be educated on possible symptoms and signs to report quickly and stop the spread.