Here in the Greenroom, we examine the newest and best developments in keeping workplaces cleaner, greener and safer.
But how can the developments we highlight, and the services that Alsco provides, combine to make a difference to your business in real terms?
Well, it’s down to the Facilities Manager, now a key figure of modern management structure, with whom Alsco enjoys a symbiotic relationship and provides them with all the necessary tools for their work.
What exactly a good management structure is, has been a matter for debate for decades, and continuing changes have kept the answer elusive. But one of the most significant developments in management has been the Facilities Manager. Why? Because through this individual, the array of office-related issues, from floor plans and design to health and safety regulation adherence, is handled, overseen and prepared.
We don’t need to tell you about the importance of adhering to the lengthy list of regulations, nor the significance of having a healthy, clean and happy workplace environment for your staff to work in. The solutions that Alsco provides for the specific needs a Facilities Manager is a major influence achieving all of those things.
What Is Facilities Management?
In essence, Facilities Management is all about keeping the facilities in a business premises in proper working order. Definitions of the role state that the Facilities Manager is responsible for the coordination of space, infrastructure, people and organization, but added to that is a range of “non-core responsibilities” that brings the number of areas of responsibility up to 11 sectors.
According to a Global Job Task Analysis carried out in 2009 by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), these sectors are:
- Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity
- Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
- Finance and Business
- Human Factors
- Leadership and Strategy
- Operations and Maintenance
- Project Management
- Real Estate and Property Management
While the primary aspects of the role are to ensure workplace safety, regulatory compliance and to properly manage and maintain business premises and systems, continuous innovation and development means the Facilities Manager must also find cost-effective ways to satisfy the job remit. That is where the challenge lies – and where Alsco frequently offers the best solutions.
The bigger the company is, the bigger is the responsibility of its Facilities Manager. They are in charge of health and safety and hygiene and, depending on the type of the company, sometimes even things like security of the company’s data or contract tendering.
There are 5 main areas, however, that Facilities Managers are responsible for:
Another area of responsibility that requires careful attention and continuous monitoring, fire safety issues influence workplace safety and business insurance. Statistics suggest that fire provides the highest risk to life in the workplace, and needless to say threatens the destruction of the workplace, and therefore the loss of jobs and complete loss of operating capabilities.
A facilities manager can ensure that fire safety standards are maintained and properly managed, keeping records, legal documents and certificates updated, inspections are regularly carried out and that all fire safety equipment (extinguishers and sprinkler systems) is in proper working order.
Maintenance And Inspections
Regular maintenance and inspection naturally demands extensive planning, particularly in the case of large business premises. Sometimes you need more than one inspection on a monthly basis to make sure you are meeting all health and safety requirements.
The main role of the inspection is to test efficiency of the systems, check the functioning of equipment and make sure all the necessary stocks are adequately filled.
Space Allocation And Changes
One of the duties of a Facility Manager which they tend to perform quite often even though it is not generally connected to them is organizing office space. This includes duties such as choosing the best location for workstations, filing cabinets, plants and water coolers.
Organizing offices didn’t use to be something that required a designated person in the company. It was usually a one time job for which a professional designer was hired. However, modern understanding of workplace dictates that office layout needs to be constantly changed in order to keep the environment fresh and inspirational. This is where the Facility Manager comes in.
In order to create an optimal office layout, the Facilities Manager needs to make sure to address all the regulations:
- Every employee needs to have enough space
- Levels of lighting in the office need to be optimal
- Temperature and ventilation control also have standard values
- Toilets, rooms and exits all need to be clearly marked
- Sufficient access and traffic allowance
- Refreshment stations (snacks, coffee, water, etc.)
Health And Safety
This is a hugely important aspect of modern business management. The range of government and industry regulations which a workplace needs to satisfy is quite extensive and detailed, from first aid codes of practice to the management of hazardous chemicals in the workplace, making it difficult for a part-time in-house OHS officer to properly ensure compliance and adequate preparation.
Through a dedicated facilities manager, every regulation detail can be examined and adhered to, but most important is that this adherence can be continually monitored and maintained.
Remember, failure to do so can lead to a host of very serious consequences, from a hefty fine to the loss of a staff-members life. That can be morally crippling, and the compensation your business is likely to have to provide financially debilitating. Other costly consequences you are exposing your business to include:
- Injury compensation
- Loss of business and investment
- Criminal prosecution
- Insurance claims
Cleaning And Hygiene
Hygiene in the facilities can be a very demanding standard to uphold, and keeping the building clean is a difficult task requiring careful planning and execution. It’s a mistake to consider premises clean if they got vacuumed and wiped with a mop. True cleanliness means surfaces which are free of bacteria.
The biggest part of cleaning is performed before or after employees arrive, however, some areas of the building, like washrooms, need to be revisited more frequently than once or twice per day.
4 Ways Alsco Helps Your Business
As it was already mentioned, Alsco provides a wide range of services which are designed to be in compliance with all health and safety regulations and standards, ensure better workplace hygiene levels and a generally healthier environment to work in. The Alsco range spans several different areas of expertise and is tailored for several different industries. From floor mats to linen services and from hygiene services to the supply of first aid kits and other medical emergency equipment, Singapore’s leading name has it covered.
But for any Facilities Manager there are two particular areas of concern: namely, quality and cost-efficiency. In much of what they do, these managers have to work in unison with the Finance Department, who of course demand value for money is essential. This is where Alsco makes the real difference.
While many competitors have the products to supply, Alsco is a leading name in fully managed services, where the product is rented by the client, not purchased, and the management of that service mean consumable stocks are replenished and maintenance checks are regular. This system brings with it several advantages:
Rental Services Lower Costs
Because there a monthly rental fee, a business does not need to make an initial outlay for equipment and supplies. Often, it is the cost of new equipment – like electric hand dryers, soap dispensers and sanitary bins in the restrooms, or an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), eyewash stations and first aid kit, or even eco-safe washers for cleaning machine parts in the workshop or garage.
And when your business requires such equipment in several locations on the premises, as well as all of the associated supplies, then the costs can get pretty high. What’s more, rental services are tax deductible, so you save money too.
Full Compliance Made Easy
There are so many health and safety regulations that keeping up with all of them at all times can be really difficult, especially because they tend to change quite often.
It’s Alsco’s business to know about any changes to rules, and as a result any changes can be dealt with immediately, removing the headache involved in achieving full compliance at all times.
Maintenance Services Maintain Hygiene And Health Standard Levels
When you have everything you need to comply with all the standards, you still need to make sure everything you have is always functional. Malfunctioning hand dryers, for example, can be annoying and even present a safety risk.
Alsco’s fully managed rental services have been designed in such way to eliminate this and many other similar problems. The equipment is regularly maintained and, if a need occurs, replaced in order to make sure the company is always in compliance with the current standards.
Restocking Services Keeps You Prepared
When there is an accident in the workplace and medical supplies in your First Aid Kit are not fully stocked, it can place your staff member in genuine danger. You might have run out of gauze, or a disinfectant, meaning stopping blood becomes more difficult and infection becomes a greater risk.
Alsco makes sure that First Aid Kits are fully stocked, not only with the essential supplies, but with the correct amount of each item to ensure enough is available to deal with a minor crisis involved several workers at once.
Managed Rental Services From Alsco
The main challenge of any Facility Manager is to make sure state regulations concerning work safety and hygiene are fully adhered to. This is not always easy work, especially considering the fact that many Facility Managers also have to face with a number of other responsibilities their companies require them to take.
Back in the 20th century, there wasn’t such a great number of regulations concerning health standards at work, which meant that there was usually no need for a special employee to tackle this issue. This changed dramatically in the past 30 years and now every big company needs a Facilities Manager. Alsco’s services have developed in order to support this person and ease the pressure on them. Alsco’s fully managed rental services include:
Alsco Mats – a variety of floor mats that can help counter the negative impact of wet wintry weather. The range of mats available includes non-slip mats that also offer a degree of moisture absorbance.
Washroom Services – maintaining a healthy working environment where the risk of illness is low is highly important. With Alsco’s dedicated fresh & Clean managed hygiene rental programs, all of the necessary standards in hygiene, odour control, cleaning and hand-drying systems can be satisfied in confidence.
Industrial Services – for any workshop or garage, ensuring that the parts and machinery are cleaned to a high standard is paramount – but you also have to remember the role that industrial solvents can play both in harming the environment and potentially staff well being.
Workwear – sourcing high quality, long-wearing workwear for industrial, workshop, laboratories or kitchen staff can be a challenge. Alsco offers expertly designed work clothing for a variety of sectors and will then wash, replace and deliver them to you.
For more information, click on the links to the services above, or contact Alsco by filling out an online enquiry form or calling us at +6564550150.
Photo courtesy of Freepik Images by @katemangostar