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Five Challenges for FMs in 2024

Five Challenges for FMs in 2024
17 January 2024
 

Facilities managers in 2024 face a spectrum of challenges, requiring a strategic and proactive approach to risk management. 

John Greenough, FM Sector Lead at Veriforce CHAS, shares five risk areas for Facilities Managers to pay attention to in the year ahead.

 

Watch the Video

 


 

1. Navigating new Fire Safety Regulations


The aftermath of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry has ushered in significant changes to fire safety legislation. While a Responsible Person (RP), might typically be the building owner, facilities managers may also be identified as the RP. Under the new regulations, the RP must understand all the fire risks of the building and undertake fire risk assessments (FRAs), assuming responsibility for various actions and reporting to fire services. When the facilities manager isn't the RP, coordination with RPs is vital for thorough fire safety coverage. Clear task delineation and defined responsibilities can help compliance.

 

2. Facing Escalating Health and Safety Fines 

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) continues to deliver record fines for breaches. Under new sentencing guidelines, businesses exceeding a turnover of £50 million can now face fines of up to £10 million for health and safety breaches and up to £20 million for corporate manslaughter offences. Failures in safeguarding, inadequate supervision, poor planning, and outdated policies are some of the root causes.

To mitigate these risks, facilities managers must prioritise regular risk assessments, policy reviews, and clearly defined roles. Additionally, a stringent prequalification process for contractors, considering safety records and adherence to regulations, is vital to avoid legal and financial repercussions.

 

3. Financial Security and Insurance Prudence


Dealing with third parties introduces financial vulnerabilities, such as late payments and cash flow challenges. Facilities managers must scrutinise contractors for public liability insurance and transparent financial documentation. Seeking support from credit check agencies or risk management providers can help provide crucial financial insights for informed decision-making and risk mitigation.

 

4. Adapting to Information Security Risks


The integration of technology in facilities infrastructure exposes facilities managers to evolving information security risks. Prioritising cybersecurity measures, regular risk assessments, and robust information security policies are essential. It is equally critical to assess the information security practices of third-party suppliers and contractors, incorporating these requirements into contracts, and implementing access controls to safeguard sensitive areas.

 

5. Streamlining Contractor Management Through Accreditation


Managing contractors can be complex, but accreditation plays a pivotal role in minimising risks. Facilities managers can leverage accreditation processes to ensure contractors meet industry standards, possess necessary qualifications, and adhere to ethical practices. CHAS Client membership provides access to a database of accredited contractors, offering visibility into key areas like health and safety, GDPR compliance, environmental performance, and financial risk.

Picture: a photograph showing a close-up of a piece of graph paper with a checkbox list of items, a hand can be seen holding a pen and checking them off. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by John Greenough | Published 17 January 2024

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