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Research highlights the challenges FMs face in maintaining a safe facility

A survey of 250 facilities management professionals, carried out by manufacturer and direct supplier for industrial paint and repair products, Watco, has revealed the extent to which maintenance can impact the smooth running of a facility.

The research found that, on average, warehouses and facilities are currently suffering 27 days of downtime per year due to maintenance work, which equates to over a month worth of working days being lost every year. In addition, 24 per cent of those surveyed shared that they regularly have a backlog of repair and maintenance jobs to complete.

But it isn’t just productivity that suffers, with the research finding that hefty maintenance jobs can cause financial losses too. In fact, over a third (34.8 per cent) of respondents indicated that their business regularly goes over budget on urgent repair work to remove hazards, with multiple respondents disclosing that £1 million or more is spent on urgent repair work each month.

Despite these significant investments, a further third of respondents said that their business has been affected by slips, trips and falls within the past two-year period. This is not only detrimental to the employee and the business, but workplace related injury or ill health currently costs the UK economy an estimated £18.8 billion a year, according to the latest Health & Safety Executive (HSE) statistics.

Commenting on the research findings, Scott Saunders, Technical Service Manager at Watco said: “Facilities managers continue to battle both familiar and emerging sector challenges such as budget constraints and changing standards, however, health & safety must always remain the highest priority.

“But health & safety doesn’t need to come at a cost. In fact, maintaining a structured approach to maintaining a premises can help to unlock cost-savings within a business. Conducting routine warehouse inspections and completing minor repair jobs before they deteriorate can significantly reduce the downtime and financial investment required for major repair jobs.”

The survey also uncovered the biggest perceived threats to maintaining health & safety standards, wth the top 10 biggest threats being:

  1. Working at height
  2. Damaged floors/surfaces
  3. Incorrect installations
  4. Faulty or damaged materials handling equipment
  5. Facility downtime
  6. Wet and slippery surfaces
  7. Time constraints
  8. Fire safety
  9. Budget constraints
  10. Having to meet changing standards and legislation

Furthermore, the survey also found that a third of facilities managers believe a lack of general maintenance and repair often poses a safety risk, and, over a quarter (27.2 per cent) of those surveyed do not think that employees are aware of potential hazards and how to report any risks.

Saunders concluded: “Some of the findings from our research could be quite alarming, however, being aware of these risks and the associated costs means that warehouse managers can mitigate the physical and financial risks before a situation escalates. Our new report, part of an ongoing series, will help to highlight the challenges faced in health and safety today, and provide readers with the knowledge and tools required to improve the safety of their facilities and maximise productivity.”

For more information on managing health and safety threats in 2023, download Watco’s free report here.

Metro Rod Drainage and Plumbing Survey

With the current economic crisis resulting in higher prices and more of a squeeze on resources, FMs need to ensure that they have robust building and maintenance services in place to control costs and reduce the need for emergency repairs. When it comes to drainage and plumbing there are also the challenges of dealing with extreme weather, from droughts to flooding, the need to meet stringent regulations and to avoid causing environmental damage.

UK drainage specialist, Metro Rod, has launched a survey which explores the main areas of interest for FMs in maintaining drainage and plumbing, including how they currently assess their supply chains to ensure they’re working with partners that meet the highest possible standards and provide value for money.

The results will be published online so that you can see how you compare to others within the sector.

The survey should take just 5-10 minutes of your time, and as a thank you, you will be entered into a prize draw, where one lucky winner will be picked at random to receive a £100 Amazon voucher.

To take part click here.

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