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Challenges of managing facilities remotely

15 April 2020

Following on from our recent feature on remote building management, PFM is following this with additional comment to assist readers during the current Covid-19 lockdown situation and in the future when daily life returns to more normal conditions.

Our first feature, which can be read here, saw industry experts provide thoughts on the importance of collaboration and team working, improved use of software, technology and wireless sensors to ensure that facilities were run efficiently and remained compliant and ready for use when travel restrictions are lift.

Further to these, Hesis managing director Barry Juggins says whether buildings are completely empty or remain partially open, it is vital to continue achieving statutory compliance, protecting the building fabric, maintaining critical services and meeting insurance requirements.

“It has been an extraordinarily difficult time, in which site teams have had to make rapid, reactive decisions,” he continues.

Mr Juggins also provides a list of 10 key factors for FMs and service providers to consider:

1. Communicate regularly and clearly with staff and customers about building closure. Let them know what steps you’re taking to keep the facility safe for their return.

2. If you still have a skeleton staff working on site, split them into teams so they share the work in shifts.

3. Provide a detailed risk assessment for people who remain on site and ensure strict measures are in place for social distancing, hand sanitisation and routine disinfection of working areas. Provide clear signing-in procedures and revised fire procedures.

4. Only keep critical areas of the facility open. Close down buildings and rooms that are not needed.

5. Make the best possible use of remote technology that enables you to monitor assets and manage any problems. For example, use sensor data to alert staff to water leaks or security risks.

6. Maintain good ventilation hygiene and air filtration. Keep water systems safe and healthy, in line with legionella control measures.

7. Pay particular attention to security related to risks for empty buildings, for example theft, fire and water leaks.

8. Ensure power is maintained to critical systems and continue with electrical and gas service safety checks.

9. Before staff and customers return to the building, consider booking a specialist deep clean and sanitisation service.

10. Ensure that every surface is disinfected and sanitised in line with government guidelines, to reassure all that you have their wellbeing at heart and are committed to providing a clean, safe working environment.

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