The Role of Safety Managers in Facility Management

An approach to develop and execute health and safety regulations in your facilities

safety manager

No matter the industry, safety management is a top priority in every workplace. Efficient safety management is an integral part of facility management as it helps to protect everyone that uses a facility from hazards. In addition, it promotes the image and reputation of the companies identified with that facility, and it minimizes criminal prosecution and personal injury claims.

The facility manager is usually responsible for safety management, but depending on the size and complexity of the building(s) in question, that role may be assigned to a safety manager.

The following is a look at the role of safety managers in facility management.

What safety managers do

A safety manager is a professional who develops and executes health and safety regulations according to legal guidelines. By doing this, the safety manager works to minimize the risk of injuries or accidents and to help foster a culture of health and safety.

Although it’s almost impossible to eliminate every single safety hazard in buildings, the risks can be managed. Here’s a straightforward approach that safety managers can use to develop and execute health and safety regulations in facilities.

1) Develop safety regulations

  • Conduct a health and safety audit—It’s essential to understand what exists before attempting to improve it, so this process starts with an assessment of the facility’s health and safety position. The safety manager will check the general state of the buildings, the systems, and all equipment that directly impact safety. An important objective of this step is to understand the facility’s preparedness to tackle likely issues.
  • Include stakeholders’ input—Gathering information from other users of the building can give safety managers more comprehensive insights into recurring safety matters or issues that were somehow missed during the safety audit. Long-term occupants and experienced maintenance staff should be encouraged to communicate their observations and suggestions.
  • Devise the plan—This stage involves collating the information gathered, drafting plans, and eventually developing a system with clearly documented protocols for dealing with as many potential risk scenarios as possible.
  • Train and communicate regularly—The plan can now be reviewed by the top management. After that, the safety manager will need to work closely with the facility management team to schedule ongoing training for all stakeholders.

It’s also advisable to conduct exercises to test the validity of the safety plan and check everyone’s readiness to respond to safety incidents quickly but safely. For instance, conduct fire drills where fire outbreaks have been identified as a risk. Once all the above is done to an appreciable level, then it’s time to move to the next stage.

2) Execute safety regulations

  • Begin implementing preventive and protective measures—Ideally, the safety plan has identified as many risk scenarios as possible for the facility in question. One of the first things to do is to begin correcting the physical defects identified. For example, this can range from repairing cracked floors or replacing missing barriers to overhauling the entire fire safety system.
  • Provide the right tools and equipment—From handling dangerous chemicals to working with high-risk equipment, the list of hazards that maintenance staff can be exposed to in modern facilities can be very long. Safety managers should ensure that workers’ health and safety is preserved through providing adequate professional protection equipment (PPE), checking the condition of tools and equipment, putting up safety signage, and placing visual safety reminders at strategic positions all over the premises.
  • Ensure compliance—There must be a proper structure in place for detecting non-compliance with the laid down safety regulations and for correcting any deviations immediately. This is achievable through supervision and frequent inspections.
  • Review and improvement—To keep the safety plan up-to-date and running at its most efficient level, it needs to be reviewed regularly. The safety manager can conduct regular evaluations and use various methods to check for process gaps and any areas that need improvement. For example, they may choose to track safety metrics like the percentage of incidents and near misses during the period under review.

Safety awareness

With the right framework in place, safety managers are in the best position to help an organization keep their facilities safer. A large part of achieving that objective is ensuring that everyone in the building is aware of the safety regulations in place and abides by them.

Posted On November 16, 2020

Bryan Christiansen

Founder and CEO, Limble CMMS

Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their facility maintenance operations. Email [email protected] for more information.


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