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Why is the facility manager important when facing COVID-19?
The facility manager is responsible for carrying out the building infrastructure maintenance, which mainly includes the space organization and the equipment maintenance. Inevitably, this space management involves keeping the facilities clean and in a good state of conservation.
To fulfill this responsibility, the facility manager must apply strategies for the space sanitation and disinfection, avoiding the spread of bacteria through the surfaces. To do so, the facility manager must establish hygiene procedures using a rigorous cleaning program, containing all the necessary steps in the different areas of the building. Each procedure should include which surfaces should be cleaned, who is responsible for each area and which products should be used.
In addition, the facility manager must ensure that there is a code of conduct in the event of an outbreak in the facility. This code should contain all measures to be taken in case the virus is detected and should be kept separate from the daily preventive cleaning program. These measures include, for example, helping employees understand the importance of a timely identification of the symptoms of infection and explaining the behaviors that prevent it.
Regarding COVID 19 – the name given by the World Health Organization (WHO) to the disease caused by a new coronavirus – the facility manager should encourage employees to adopt and comply with the recommendations issued by the World Health Organization. This virus was first identified in humans at the end of 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and has now reached all continents. COVID 19 causes flu-like symptoms, namely fever, cough, shortness of breath and fatigue.
Considering how easily the virus spreads, we reinforce some of the measures that all companies should consciously adopt:
- Distribute hand sanitizers in several areas of the company, particularly in bathrooms, meeting rooms, eating areas, etc.;
- Reinforce the plans for cleaning and disinfecting the spaces with the responsible teams, and keep them involved in this issue;
- Encourage employees to stay home if they show flu symptoms;
- Avoid physical contact with other people;
- Avoid international trips;
- Avoid public places with crowds;
- Reduce face-to-face meetings as much as possible, using instead other communication tools available;
- Distribute informative posters throughout the building, with rules for coughing, sneezing and hand sanitizing (NHS and WHO website);
- Follow the development of the virus situation in https://www.who.int/
With these preventive practices in place, the facility manager increases the chances of successfully dealing with any type of virus, either COVID 19 or other type of infectious disease.
These strategies are implemented and controlled more easily with the use of a digital maintenance or facility management tool. The process of assigning work to technical teams, managing tasks and reporting activities is easier and more efficient with a maintenance software.