Facilities Management Professionals Prepare for Winter

Do you feel winter has a major impact on your ability to fulfil your role?

Winter is well and truly with us again. With UK temperatures potentially dropping as low as -7c this weekend, it is important for all facilities management professionals to be fully prepared for the upcoming cooler months. As we have recently been hit with some of the coldest winters ever seen on record, we have to brace ourselves for the impact the volatile cold weather has on the property industry – during the big freeze of 2010, it was estimated that it cost UK businesses over £6billion in extra outgoings! With Facilities/Building Managers having such a substantial role in ensuring that a property is kept running effectively and efficiently; can you do anything to impact on these figures?

Research has found more than 30 percent of organisations fail to plan for the winter so BIFM has offered their support. BIFM has launched its latest Good Practice Guide to Winter Maintenance in association with GRITIT. They have produced the guide to give all facilities management professionals a best working practice guide to cover winter maintenance, creating a plan and also reducing risk.

The document covers the normal areas including; winter changes, roofing, gutters, moisture & mould, snow & ice and entrances and more. However, quoting directly from the Winter Maintenance Good Practise Guide they have specifically concentrated on the below;

  • Ensuring your winter safety procedures are integrated into a recognisable health and safety management system such as OHSAS18001 or HS(G)65 Successful Health and Safety Management.
  • Sending the winter maintenance plan to your insurer or broker, both to ensure it covers all the areas required in the policy and also to see whether it can positively impact the organisation’s premiums. An effective winter maintenance plan should allow an insurer to deny any injury claim.
  • If an accident does occur as a result of snow or ice, conduct a full accident investigation to identify the root cause of the incident, review whether the procedures in the plan were sufficient, and demonstrate that you did all that is reasonably expected of you.
  • Maintaining records that show you have delivered your risk management plan and keep these for at least three years.

All these areas are fundamental for all FM professionals during the winter period. However, it is quoted from research that an astonishing 85 percent of organisations were not planning to do anything differently.

Do you feel that the additional preparation is required or do you think your time is better spent elsewhere?

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