An Alternative Approach to Reducing Non-Core Operating Costs Without Impacting on Quality
As a Finance or Facilities Director, you will be used to Compliancy, but this is normally in the context of accounting or corporate governance. Often, Compliancy in the sense of workplace management can seem a bit of a puzzle, complicated by the day-to-day pressure of running the core business. You may think that this is ok… until something happens to either your people or business critical assets like key offices, buildings or plant. Then, you may end up putting yourself, the other directors and the business at risk.
Workplace compliancy can be overlooked due to day-to-day pressures of running the core business. This might seem ok, until something happens!
Managing this type of compliancy is less complex if your business is centred around a single facility, but it can become particularly difficult if your business has numerous small-medium sized facilities that are geographically spread.
Are you putting your People, the Directors or the Business at risk?
The responsibility for workplace compliancy may fall into the domain of your Facilities Management team, Service Partner or Head of Property. However, in my experience any negative impact will normally sit with the Finance or Facilities Director in terms of costs and ensuring that any business risks are appropriately managed. The range of workplace compliancy requirements can be complex, with numerous areas to consider, but in the hands of an expert workplace management specialist, you should be able to implement a well-structured compliancy system.
Here is a straightforward, but not exhaustive checklist of some of the basic workplace compliancy requirements that you should have in-place across your business, whatever the size and shape:
WORKPLACE COMPLIANCY CHECKLIST
Fire & Smoke:
Fire detection & alarm systems
Fire hose reels
Smoke extraction systems and fire curtains
Fire protection extinguishing systems; Server & communication rooms / CO2 & inert gas systems
Non-automatic systems; dry or wet risers & hydrants
Automatic sprinkler protection; Wet system, dry system, pre-engaged, fire pumps
Escape routes & fire doors
Car park ventilation; smoke extract
Fire risk assessment documentation
Energy & Environment:
Water treatment; Chlorination and Legionella
Effluent discharge; tanks, vessel drain downs, cooling towers
Oil storage installations; oil pipes and overfill devices
Waste disposal; Waste electrical & electronic equipment
Display energy and performance certificates
Air conditioning inspections
Fixed electrical installations and equipment
Portable appliance testing
Local authority entertainments license
Lifts & Hoists:
General lifts & hoists
Hot water boilers and heating systems
Steam boilers and steam ovens
Local extraction equipment
Powered mechanical closers and doors
Health & Safety:
Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
Water hygiene risk assessment
Management control of legionella
Hazard risk assessment
Workplace health and safety plan
Spatial planning and organisation
Intensive or sanitised cleaning schedule
Intensive CBM regimes for facilities infrastructure
Certification for associated services
You may feel the above is a real management burden and over-the-top. But, try saying this to the leading FMCG business whose major office and production facility was burnt down due to poor compliancy management and COSHH. Here are some other tips and ideas that you might want to consider:
The Building Box: Create a building box for each facility. This should contain the compliancy documentation such as certificates, plans and audit reports for each workplace. One should be kept centrally and another should be kept at each location if you have a business with multiple locations. Establish a central Compliancy Template Folder that contains a master calendar / framework with any associated plans, certificate or report templates.
Use an on-line Document Management Service: There are several cost-effective Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions available these days, that will allow you to establish a building box on-line. This has the benefit of access from anywhere for updates, revisions and general management. You may like to be smart and find a SaaS application that integrates workplace service management, document management, audits, procurement and permit-to-work into a single web-enabled application.
Independent Audit: Invite a workplace service expert to undertake a compliancy health check on an annual basis.
Board Meetings: Health & Safety or workplace compliancy is often missing as an agenda item at many board meetings. You may like to add this and make it important to the business. Let’s face it, if something does go wrong, it may very well be the directors who are in the firing line.
Having the right compliancy calendar along with service plans, documentation, reports and audits is key. With the right workplace management framework, expert or service partner in-place, ensuring that you stay Fit-for-Business can become very straightforward. Look at your business and work out just what is an appropriate compliancy structure for the workplace that will save money (on costs like insurance premiums by example), ensure compliancy and deliver quality of service. Feel free to contact Enlight Group for more comprehensive guidance.
About the Author:
Frank Rodriguez is Executive Chairman of Enlight Group and has over 30 years of experience in the outsourcing and facilities management sector having worked globally for leading service organisations. He has won numerous business awards in this field, including the prestigious National Entrepreneur of the Year, FT Fast Track and European Hot 100 awards. He has pioneered co-sourcing as a ‘next generation’ integrated service solution and has chaired numerous industry or academic forums for outsourcing, workplace services, facilities management and associated service technology.
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