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Facilities Management


Feature


Many facilities management (FM) providers are now heavily penalised financially for asset failures that “contractually” render a building unavailable or unfit for use if key assets fail with penalties continuing to be accrued until the necessary repairs are completed. This approach seeks to ensure that good maintenance practice prevails, with the benefit of regular and ongoing PPM to minimise risk of asset failure and disruption to their client operations. There is however a much bigger picture to consider which extends way


beyond staff complaints and production downtime and that is to ensure that legislative compliance is maintained. As an employer in the public, private or third sector, you are responsible


for ensuring building services are compliant with governing legislation that has been designed to ensure buildings and building users are kept safe. This is achieved through regular PPM to meet the legislative requirements and the completion of any remedial/safety works identified as a result of the PPM activity. Failure to ensure compliance with


legislation can put the welfare of building users at risk resulting in serious injury or even death. Non- compliance has also the potential to invalidate insurance cover. In the event of a disaster that results from poorly maintained assets, there may be literally no comeback in terms of the ability to fund the repairs or in the worst case the ability to continue in business. The recent introduction of unlimited fines and possibility of a jail term for gross negligence has brought legislative compliance for building maintenance into sharp focus. Maintaining compliance on an ongoing basis should be a key management consideration for any business and should be included on any business risk register. Even more important is being able to provide supporting evidence and certification that regular asset inspections, activities and actions, to mitigate and minimise the risk of non-compliance, have been carried out to the appropriate standard(s) – particularly where the health and safety executive or an insurance inspector comes to call as the result of an accident or incident. There are numerous PPM activities and regular professional assessments


‘There are numerous PPM activities and regular professional assessments which need to be carried out to ensure legislative compliance’


which need to be carried out to ensure legislative compliance. The complexity and extent of these activities will generally be dependent on the age, type of construction, type of materials used in the construction and nature of the mechanical and electrical services installed. For a typical office/administrative type building these will normally include, but not be limited to;


• Gas installation inspection, testing and certification • Passenger and good lifts • Pressure vessels


• Electrical inspection – periodic five-yearly fixed installation testing and portable appliance testing


• Water hygiene compliance (management and control of legionella and other water borne bacteria)


• Current fire risk assessment • Current asbestos register • Refrigerant gas – compliance with F gas regulations • Display energy certificates (where applicable)


More complex sites, particularly those involved in manufacturing, will have a wider range of specialist-installed mechanical and electrical plant which will attract other statutory inspection and test regimes which may include overhead cranes, lifting equipment, goods lifts and pressurised equipment e.g. steam boilers, compressed air equipment and more. Often, the office manager performs the role of the facility manager with


limited or no training in the skills sets required to ensure legislative compliance is maintained. In most cases, this lack of experience only becomes evident after an incident occurs, by which time it is too late – but unfortunately ignorance of the law does not provide a valid defence in court. GRAHAM Asset Management has wide and demonstrable experience in


working with our clients to ensure legislative compliance requirements are identified and maintained across small, large and complex corporate estates. We possess a wide range of skills, knowledge and capability in this respect with a range of reporting tools that enables compliance with legislation to be accurately reported upon.


For more information, contact Graeme.douglas@graham.co.uk or call 07181 6316161.


July/August 2016 CHAMBERLINK 41


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