Facilities Maintenance work can be risky business for employees who are not properly trained.
As many facility managers know, not all of the tasks set for staff members are as simple and safe as changing a light bulb. To keep facilities running, buildings inevitably contain equipment and systems that can pose a threat to those who do not know how to handle them properly. These risks can be amplified when equipment fails and team members have to execute corrective action.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recognized the importance of providing facilities' employees with training, according to FMLink. Through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, this government organization has awarded $10.1 million to inform American workers on how to deal with sensitive FM situations. OSHA aims to provide employees with a strong sense of know-how when it comes to avoiding compromising situations that may leave them injured.
"These grants reflect the department's commitment to ensuring all workers and employers have the tools and skills to identify hazards and prevent injuries," stated secretary of labor Thomas E. Perez, according to a statement released by OSHA. "By further advancing a culture of workplace safety and health, we help to eliminate the false choice between enhancing workplace safety and productivity."
With the money provided by OSHA, the training program will be able to provide in-depth and interactive instruction to facilities' staff members about possible safety risks and how to minimize them. For those who are not able to receive face-to-face training, OSHA will also be commissioning the creation of cohesive teaching materials to be distributed among more remote facilities' staff members.
"The programs funded by these grants are one of the most effective resources we have for providing important hands-on training and education to hard-to-reach workers in small businesses and dangerous jobs," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels.
Don't rely solely on OSHA
FM personnel should not only take advantage of the resources made available by OSHA, they should also do their own part in ensuring employee safety. By using FacilityDude's MaintenanceEdge, facilities managers can make sure that their buildings and equipment are regularly inspected. If any issues in their systems are detected, then they can easily submit a work order, allowing maintenance workers to address and fix minor problems before they become more serious. This will prevent major malfunctions and ultimately reduce the risk of injury among FM representatives.