11 Major Issues Women in Trades Face and How to Solve Them

Women in trades cutting sheet metal
In a male-dominated workplace, women in trades face extra hazards that men don’t.

Most of the trades, like carpentry or cement masonry, are extremely dangerous to the average worker.

Some cities are even taking steps to ramp up their safety procedures, like New York City with Local Law 196.

But women in trades are especially vulnerable for a number of reasons and we need to be aware of these risks in order to mitigate them and provide a suitable work environment for women and men alike.

In this post, we’ll dive into the major problems women in trades often face and look at a few ways to solve these pressing issues.

Health and Safety Risks for Women in Trades (Based on SHEWT Research)

SHEWT was the study that broke open the door and shone a light on the issues women face in trades like construction.

It stands for Safety and Health Empowerment for Women in Trades.

According to their website, SHEWT was:

“A collaboration between the University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and community partners Washington Women in Trades, the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center, the University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center, and the Washington State Building Trades Council’s Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Education (PACE) program.”

The purpose of SHEWT was two-fold:

  • Expose the harms and dangers that women in particular face in the trades.
  • And promote understanding of these unique risks in order to reduce them and replace them with better health and safety standards.

It should be obvious to anyone that construction workers face many dangers while on the job, such as slips and falls, contaminants, and potentially harmful machinery.

But what’s not obvious are the dangers women face in these male-dominated workplaces, such as stress resulting from harassment or discrimination, protective gear that wasn’t designed for the female physique, and even unclean facilities.

Here are the top problems women in trades face according to surveys conducted by SHEWT:

  1. Sexist stereotypes
  2. Physical limitations
  3. Discrimination
  4. Harassment
  5. Under-representation
  6. Having to prove selves
  7. No respect
  8. Poor work/life balance
  9. Poor training Inadequate
  10. Inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and tools
  11. Women who set a bad example for everyone else

Now let’s take a look at the actual results of SHEWT.

Statistical Results of SHEWT

SHEWT surveyed almost 300 male and female workers, asking them questions regarding health and safety hazards in their respective workplaces.

The demographics were:

  • 68% women
  • 32% men
  • 43% were in an apprenticeship
  • 57% were on the journey level

And the majority of trades represented in the study were laborers, electricians, pipe trades, and carpenters.

Here are the results of SHEWT:

  • Women reported higher levels of perceived stress compared to men.
  • Over half of women surveyed said they pushed themselves past their physical comfort level at least half of the time in order to complete their work.
  • Almost half of women felt discriminated against at work due to their gender.
  • Women were more likely than men to report at least one injury at work in the past year.
  • Women were less likely to report their injuries because they were afraid of being laid off.
  • Women were more likely than men to report PPE not fitting properly.

Solutions to Hazards for Women in Trades

According to the women in trades surveyed, these are the solutions they see for the hazards they face:

  • More women
  • Education
  • Improved training
  • Treat women and men equal
  • Mentoring

Hannah Curtis, one of the lead researchers of SHEWT, was recently interviewed and largely agreed with the solutions these women laid forward.

Here’s what Hannah had to say about getting more women into trades:

“If you can get more women into the trades, if you can get more women into leadership positions especially, you can create more of a demand for PPE, you can make men more comfortable working with women, you can change the training so it’s more friendly for women’s ergonomics, just change the culture so it’s more supportive of women in general.”

On the topic of leadership, Hannah said:

“Having supervisors involved is really essential, especially having them set the tone in terms of anti-harassment. Making that a priority, and having it trickle down.”

And in regards to mentoring, Hannah said:

“I think [mentoring] is just such a wonderful way to help women deal with the stress resulting from the workplace stressors that they are experiencing. It can also be a form of prevention. If you give women the skills they need to navigate that culture, to work safely, to advocate for their safety on the job, you’re going to prevent them from getting into situations where things become overwhelming and they want to leave the industry.”

Next Steps for Improving Conditions for Women in Trades

It’s up to all of us to help women feel more comfortable in the workplace, get along well with their male counterparts, and get access to equipment that works with their physique.

You can’t do it all, but as a start, you can help educate yourself and your employees on these issues.

And we can help you do it.

We can give you access to guides and courses such as:

  • Developing Women Leaders: A Guide for Men and Women in Organizations
  • Career and Family Challenges for Women Leaders
  • The Gender Communication Handbook: Conquering Conversational Collisions between Men and Women

If you want access to these and many more resources, get your free trial of Enterprise Training below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

Schedule Free Consultation

Everything You Need to Know About Fitwel and Fitwel Certification

Fitwel-certification-building
Fitwel and the Fitwel certification is used around the world for healthier buildings

Fitwel is actively becoming the leader in healthier building construction.

In fact, it’s gaining international traction. Through a partnership with well-known global safety science leader UL, the Fitwel certification system is being rolled out in China where the demand for healthier buildings is rising.

But what is Fitwel? Why does it matter? What are its strategies for improving buildings? And why should you get your building certified through Fitwel?

All these questions and more will be answered in today’s post.

Let’s dive in.

What is Fitwel?

Fitwel is a certification system for optimizing buildings to support human health.

It was developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alongside the General Services Administration (GSA).

The Center for Active Design (CfAD) is the licensed operator of Fitwel. They were granted an exclusive license to lead future development within the private and public sectors by the Federal government.

CfAD was started by Mayor Bloomberg in New York City in 2011 and since then, they’ve helped inform the design of buildings and public infrastructure in over 180 countries.

The Fitwel certification system is the next step for CfAD to provide a proven standard for health-promoting strategies and building development.

Fitwel seeks to accomplish 7 goals:

  1. Impact Community Health
  2. Reduce Morbidity + Absenteeism
  3. Support Social Equity for Vulnerable Populations
  4. Instill Feelings Of Wellbeing
  5. Provide Healthy Food Options
  6. Promote Occupant Safety
  7. Increase Physical Activity

Why is Fitwell Important?

According to Fitwel, there are 3 major reasons buildings should consider getting Fitwel certified:

  1. Approximately 49% of building owners are willing to pay more for buildings demonstrated to have a positive impact on health.
  2. Approximately 45% of investors own impact investments (investments centered around environmental, social, and governance performance) or are interested in owning them.
  3. Approximately 97% of users report ease of use, and 84% understand how their buildings support health thanks to access to the information and performance data needed to certify a project.

What are Fitwel’s Strategies for Improving Buildings?

Becoming Fitwel certified means you adhere to specific strategies laid out by Fitwel.

There are 2 types of buildings they focus on:

  • Workplace buildings.
  • Residential buildings.

Let’s take a look at the strategies they propose for each.

Strategies for Workplace Buildings

Here are some of the strategies Fitwel proposes for creating healthier workplace buildings:

  1. Location – optimizing transit access and walkways to support greater opportunities for physical activity, social equity and foster positive impacts on community health.
  2. Building Access – offering support for carpools, bikes, and pedestrians to support multi-modal access to buildings and opportunities for regular physical activity.
  3. Outdoor Spaces – creating provisions and policies for outdoor amenities, such as walking trails and smoke-free spaces to support mental and physical health.
  4. Entrances & Ground Floor – building entryway systems and appropriate lighting to promote improved air quality and access to health-promoting amenities.
  5. Stairwells – developing accessible, visible, and well-designed stairwells to present a convenient way for building occupants to add physical activity to their day.
  6. Indoor Environment – implementing smoke-free building policies and providing an asbestos-free interior to limit prolonged exposure to harmful airborne substances and pollutants in indoor environments

Strategies for Improving Workplaces:

Here are some of the strategies Fitwel proposes for creating healthier residential buildings:

    1. Dwelling Units – providing daylight, views, and operable shading at workspaces to assist in reducing morbidity and increasing comfort, while also instilling feelings of well-being.
    2. Shared Spaces – building kitchen facilities and an exercise room to promote health outside of the individual workspace.
    3. Water Supply – providing an ADA compliant water supply on every floor to allow residents access to fresh water.
    4. Restaurants & Groceries – establishing standards for healthy food and beverages that must be met by all on-site sit-down restaurants to increase access to healthier restaurants and food choices.
    5. Vending Machines & Snack Bars – offering pricing incentives for healthy snacks to help reverse the negative health impacts of traditional vending machines.
    6. Emergency Procedures – providing an Automated External Defibrillator and associated testing schedule to improve coordination and timeliness of emergency response.

What are the Benefits of Becoming Fitwell Certified?

There are 4 big benefits of getting Fitwel certified:

  1. Signal to employees, residents, investors, and others that you prioritize wellness within the design, development, and operations of buildings.
  2. Integrate the best strategies that science has to offer to optimize health within a building.
  3. Ensure that your company is leading the industry on the next frontier of sustainability.
  4. Improve the health of your employees or residents as well as the surrounding community.

How Do You Get Fitwel Certified?

To get Fitwel certified, go here.

You’ll pay $500 annually to use Fitwel’s portal and $6,000 per project you want to be certified.  

What Are Other Ways You Can Optimize Your Building for Health?

If you’re concerned about improving your building design for health and wellness beyond Fitwel certification, we can give you a variety of books, videos, and courses you can use, such as:

  • Creating Healthy Workplaces: Stress Reduction Improved Well-being and Organizational Effectiveness
  • The Corporate Wellness Bible: Your Guide to Keeping Happy Healthy and Wise in the Workplace
  • Healthy Organizations Win: How to Harness Your Organizations Maximum Potential

If you want these resources and many more, schedule your free consultation with Enterprise Training below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

Schedule Free Consultation

NYC Local Law 196: How to Comply (Without Getting Hit with $5,000 Fines)

NYC local law 196 job site safety
Local law 196 was created in order to protect workers through additional safety training

New Yorkers, are you prepared for unannounced safety checks at your construction site?

If not, you could be hit with a $5,000 fine or more.

This according to bill Intro 1447-C, otherwise known as Local Law 196, which was signed into law by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on October 16, 2017.

Later in this post, we’ll explain what Local Law 196 requires, who it affects, and how to comply with it so you don’t get hit with any fines.

But first, let’s see exactly what it is.

What is Local Law 196?

Falling-related fatalities for construction workers reached an all-time high in 2017, totaling 10 deaths according to New York’s Department of Buildings (DOB).

Local Law 196 was introduced to prevent that number from climbing in 2018 and beyond.

It mandates that workers at certain job sites receive 40 hours of safety training, while supervisors at certain job sites receive 62 hours of safety training.

What are the Local Law 196 Requirements and Who Needs to Be Trained?

These are the people on your job site who must be trained:

  • New entrants to construction.
  • Supervisors such as construction superintendents, concrete safety managers, site safety coordinators, site safety managers, and competent persons.
  • Workers at job sites with a Site Safety Plan as well as job sites with a superintendent, site safety coordinator or site safety manager.

There are 3 phases of Local Law 196. We’ll cover each and explain exactly what is required of your workers and supervisors.

Phase 1

Phase 1 of Local Law 196 has already been initiated. It started on March 1, 2018.

That means all workers and supervisors at this point must have received a minimum of 10 hours of training. New entrants to your construction site are required to complete this training prior to working.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of Local Law 196 begins on December 1, 2018. All workers at this point will be required to carry at least a Limited Site Safety Training (SST) Card.

To obtain a Limited SST Card, you have to do ONE of the following:

  • Complete OSHA 10 and undergo 20 additional hours of training specified by New York’s DOB. This includes 8 hours of training about preventing falling-related fatalities.
  • Complete OSHA 30
  • Complete a 100-hour program approved by the DOB.

All supervisors at this point must complete site safety training to obtain their requisite SST Supervisor Card.

Phase 3

Phase 3 of Local Law 196 begins on May 1, 2019.

At this point, all workers are expected to have their training complete, which could be any of the following:

  • OSHA 10 in addition to 30-45 hours of training approved by the DOB, which of course includes those 8 hours on the dangers of falling workers and objects.
  • OSHA 30 in addition to 10-25 hours of training approved by the DOB, including 8 hours of preventing falling-related accidents.
  • A 100-hour training program approved by the DOB.

And again, supervisors will have to complete site safety training to get their SST supervisor card.

How Can You Meet the Local Law 196 Requirements?

If you completed any of this training online before October 16, 2017, it will be recognized and accepted as valid.

However, any training you take after that date will have to be in-person training or actively proctored online training – meaning, a person oversees your online training to ensure you’re present for the entirety of the training course.

Once you complete the course, you should receive a wallet-sized Site Safety Training Card that must include specific information and security features, such as:

  • Unique identification card number.
  • Photographs of the person to whom it was issued.
  • Date of course completion.
  • Expiration date.
  • Name and address of provider of issuance.

Who is Exempt from Local Law 196?

Not everyone needs to undergo additional training or obtain a Site Safety Training Card.

Here’s a list of everyone exempt from Local Law 196:

  • Delivery persons
  • Flag persons
  • Professional engineers
  • Registered architects
  • Department-licensees and Department-registrants (excluding safety professionals)
  • Workers at job sites that only involve minor alterations or the construction of a new 1-, 2-, or 3-family home

What Happens if You Violate Local Law 196 Requirements?

As we alluded to earlier in this post, owners of job sites with workers who don’t meet Local Law 196 requirements will face stiff fines.

If the DOB discovers an untrained worker on a construction site, the owner of the site, the permit holder, and the employer of the untrained worker will each be given a $5,000 civil penalty.

And if the permit holder hasn’t kept a detailed log that demonstrates all the workers on-site are trained, they’ll be hit with a $2,500 penalty.

Recap of Local Law 196

Just to make sure you understand what you need and when you need it to comply with Local Law 196, here’s a quick recap.

  • March 1, 2018 is when all workers are required to have at least 10 hours of training to be able to work
  • December 1, 2018 is when all workers (old and new) need to at least have a Limited SST Card and all supervisors need to have an SST Supervisor Card
  • May 1, 2019 or September 1, 2020 is when all workers must have an SST Card

And so it’s crystal clear on how to get an SST Card, here are the requirements again:

How Workers Obtain an SST Card

  • 10-hour OSHA training plus 30 additional SST training hours
  • 30-hour OSHA training plus 10 additional SST training hours
  • 100-hour DOB sponsored training

By the way, if you have 40 hours of SST training before December 1, 2018 you can simply obtain a full SST Card without getting the Limited SST Card.

How Supervisors Obtain an SST Card

  • 30-Hour OSHA
  • 8-Hour Fall Protection Course
  • 8-Hour Site Safety Manager Refresher Training
  • 4-Hour Supported Scaffold User Training
  • 2 hours of each of the following topics:
    • Site safety plans
    • Toolbox talks
    • Pre-task meetings
    • General electives,
    • Specialized electives,
    • Drug & Alcohol Awareness

This card will be valid for a 5-year period and will require 16-hours of SST training to renew.

And there you have it.

Everything New York construction workers, supervisors, and site owners need to know about Local Law 196.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!Schedule Free Consultation

Everything You Need to Know About Near Miss Reporting

Near miss reporting could be the difference between a serious accident and a safer workplace
Near miss reporting could be the difference between a serious accident and a safer workplace

 

Imagine you’re walking around a corner in your warehouse and a forklift speeds past you, almost taking your head off. You wheel backward jumping over cables and extension cords littering the ground.

Before crashing into a shelving unit and knocking down expensive packages, you steady yourself.

You’ve just experienced a near miss.

Instead of writing this incident off as a “close call” or a “fluke,” you should file a near miss report.

But many managers and employees don’t practice near miss reporting. Or they don’t quite know why it’s important.

We’ll tell you why it’s important, how to write one, and how you can develop a culture and program of near miss reporting.

But first, let’s define near miss reporting.

What is Near Miss Reporting?

Near miss reporting goes by many names – near miss incident report, near miss accident report, or near hit – but they all mean the same thing:

An unplanned event that could’ve caused human, environmental, or equipment damage but didn’t cause harm because of a fortunate “break” in the chain of events.

So if no one is hurt and the business doesn’t suffer an interruption in operations, why does a near miss report matter?

The Importance of Near Miss Reporting

A near miss is a warning sign of potential future accidents.

Near miss reports give managers and employees information about their current work conditions, processes, and systems and hints at possible solutions to dangers in the workplace.

Without near miss reports, workplaces may simply rely on “days without an accident” to track their progress and level of workplace safety.

But “days without an accident” don’t tell you anything about how to improve workplace safety – it merely tells you that the workplace is presumably safe.

Near miss reporting, on the other hand, is a useful tool for driving continuous safety improvements across your organization – which is one of many advantages near miss reports provide.

Benefits of Near Miss Reporting

The benefits of near miss reporting are varied and far-reaching. Apart from helping managers identify unsafe workplace conditions, here are a few additional benefits:

  • Promotes a workplace culture of safety by encouraging others to report near misses
  • Prevents future accidents by educating employees on how accidents almost occurred so they don’t make the same mistakes
  • Proactively reduces near misses and accidents by encouraging employee participation and looking for any and all things that contribute to unsafe conditions and eliminating or reducing them
  • Provides data for statistical analysis to identify unsafe workplace trends and track performance of individuals (after all, some near misses can be attributed to people, not just machines or systems)

So you can see why near miss reporting is important, but how do you actually create a near miss report?

How to Write a near Miss Report

If you or your employees experience a near miss, here’s what to include in your near miss incident report:

  • Date of near miss
  • Time of near miss
  • Location of near miss
  • Names of people involved, including employees, supervisors, and managers
  • Departments involved
  • Sequence of events leading to the near miss
  • Mode of action of the employees involved (walking, running, climbing, lifting, operating machinery, etc.)
  • Environmental conditions surrounding the near miss
  • Equipment used or present during near miss
  • Analysis of the primary and secondary causes of the near miss
  • Recommendations for corrective actions, policy changes, environmental changes, etc.

Now, one near miss report could go a long way. But if you want to engage your employees in contributing to a culture of safety reporting, then you have to design a strong near miss reporting program.

How to Design a Near Miss Reporting Program

To design a near miss reporting program, follow the steps below:

  • Choose KPIs for near miss reporting and define the goals of your program such as “reduce near misses by 50%.”
  • Make reporting near misses as easy as possible to increase the likelihood that most employees will take the time to create a report (and know that it won’t take much time to do so).
  • Get every leader in your organization involved and excited about the near miss reporting program – if they’re not onboard, your employees won’t be either.
  • Educate your employees on the benefits of near miss reporting to ensure buy-in from them.
  • Define near misses for your employees and give them concrete examples of near miss accidents.
  • Monitor and track every near miss reported.
  • Never punish your employees for reporting a near miss (even if it seems it was their fault). Near miss reports should be used for preventative measures only, not punitive actions.
  • Always seriously investigate near miss incidents.
  • Use near miss reports to drive organizational improvements in workplace safety.

One Essential Tool to Prevent Near Misses

We’ve given you plenty of ideas and actions for using near miss reporting to improve the safety conditions of your workplace.

But there’s one tool we didn’t mention:

Safety training.

If you don’t have updated safety policies, or aren’t continuously training yourselves and your employees in safety best practices and safety hazards (such as the top OSHA violations), then near miss reporting won’t be as effective as it could be.

To get the full benefits of near miss reports, you need to implement regular safety training.

That doesn’t mean you have to hire expensive speakers, or disrupt entire work days, or ruin your employees’ weekends with long training seminars.

On the contrary, you can easily provide quick safety lessons that stick in your employees’ minds long-term at a low cost.

How?

Through eLearning.

The low cost of eLearning combined with the effectiveness of microlearning makes it easy for you to quickly implement and deliver safety training to your employees in the comfort of their cubicles or homes.

Enterprise training provides a host of safety courses, covering topics from creating a safety program to laser safety training, for example.

We also offer a near miss reporting system ideal for capturing and preventing these events – to learn more, schedule your free consultation today!

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

Schedule Free Consultation

 

How to Use the Swiss Cheese Accident Causation Model

 

The swiss cheese accident causation model can help you understand and prevent future accidents
The swiss cheese accident causation model can help you understand and prevent future accidents

No matter how robust your safety procedures are, accidents inevitably happen.

But why do accidents occur? Where do they originate? And what can we do to stop them from happening?

These are the types of questions the swiss cheese accident causation model attempts to answer.

The video below walks through its definition and an example of the model in practice.

After watching the video, continue reading because we’ll expand the definition, discuss its origins and key concepts, and show you how to apply its insights to your organization.

What is the Swiss Cheese Accident Causation Model?

The swiss cheese accident causation model is a theoretical model used in risk analysis, risk management, and risk prevention.

As the video above points out, “any components of an organization is considered a slice [of cheese] in this model. Management is a slice. Allocation of resources is a slice. An effective safety program is a slice. Operational support is a slice.”

But if there are any deficiencies or flaws in any of these “slices” of your organization or agency, then you will have a hole in that slice. Hence, swiss cheese.

If holes within each slice of your organization line up, meaning one weakness carries over into another weakness and so on, it creates a single hole throughout your organization – causing an accident.

Who Invented the Swiss Cheese Accident Causation Model?

The swiss cheese accident causation model was invented by James T. Reason and was first described in his well-known book Human Error.

In this book, he describes several famous disasters including the Challenger space shuttle accident and instead of simply discussing various causes for the accidents, he proposes an integrated theory of accident causation now known as the swiss cheese model.

What are the Key Concepts of the Swiss Cheese Model?

Reason was able to construct his integrated theory of accident causation through in-depth research into the nature of accidents, leading him to the following insights:

  • Accidents are often caused by the confluence of multiple factors.
  • Factors can range from unsafe individual acts to organizational errors.
  • Many contributing factors to an accident are latent errors – they’re lying dormant waiting to be triggered by any number of active errors.
  • Humans are prone to operational errors which require properly designed systems to mitigate the errors humans inevitably commit.

These insights form the key concepts behind the swiss cheese accident causation model.

What are Active and Latent Errors in the Swiss Cheese Model?

According to the US National Library of Medicine, Nearly all adverse events involve a combination of these two sets of factors:

Active Failures

Active failures or active errors are the unsafe acts committed by people.

An example of an active failure would be an employee who chooses not to follow safety procedures like cleaning flammable debris from a machine.

But according to the swiss cheese model, their active failure was not the ultimate cause of the accident. There are other factors at play.

Latent Conditions

Latent conditions or latent errors are the failures built into procedures, systems, buildings, or machines by the designers, builders, writers, or management.

Latent conditions are failures waiting to be triggered by an active error.

An example of a latent condition would be faulty fire alarm systems that are inoperable.

If you combine this latent condition with our example of an active failure – failing to clean flammable debris from a machine – you get a serious fire accident.

How to Apply the Swiss Cheese Model

While the swiss cheese model isn’t prescriptive, you can use its insights to improve the overall safety of your organization.

One way to prevent active errors is to know the top OSHA violations in 2017 to ensure your safety procedures match OSHA’s standards so your employees don’t make these common mistakes.

One way to prevent latent errors is to know the Government facilities management trends of 2018 and keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and practices to ensure the safest environments for your employees.

Beyond those two suggestions, you’ll need to regularly provide in-depth safety training to your employees. That’s difficult to do on a tight budget and little time to set aside for a week or a weekend’s worth of training.

But instead of in-person training, you can use the effectiveness of eLearning to train your employees quickly and easily using nothing more than their computers and an internet connection.

But to get the right training, you need an eLearning platform that specializes in producing courses on Government safety training.

Lucky for you, Enterprise Training specializes in all forms of Government training, and we have plenty of programs to satisfy your safety training requirements.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

Schedule Free Consultation

10 Important Government Facilities Management Trends in 2018

The Government facilities management trends in 2018 will encourage new technologies and responsibilities for FMs
The Government facilities management trends in 2018 will encourage new technologies and responsibilities for FMs

From the public sector to the private, facilities managers roles and responsibilities are changing.

It used to be about simple building maintenance.

Now it’s about construction planning, energy management, and workforce efficiency.

We’ll help you navigate the changing face of facilities management by going over 7 Government facilities management trends in 2018.

But before we do, let’s clearly define facilities management.

What is Facilities Management?

According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), facilities management is:

A profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process, and technology.

A facilities manager (FM) is responsible for making sure the building and everything in it (people and objects) function properly and harmoniously.

IFMA has laid out 11 core competencies that every facilities manager should acquire:

  1. Communications – Management and oversight of the development and use of the facility communications plan
  2. Quality – Development and management of the creation and application of standards for the facility organization
  3. Technology – Ability to plan, direct and manage/oversee facility management business and operational technologies
  4. Operations and Maintenance –  Ability to assess and manage the conditions and operations of the facility
  5. Human Factors – Development and implementation of practices that support the performance and goals of the entire organization
  6. Finance and Business – Management and oversight of the financial management of the facility organization
  7. Emergency Planning and Business Continuity – Plan, manage and support the entire organization’s emergency preparedness program
  8. Leadership and Strategy – Ability to lead the facility organization, plan strategically, and assess the services needed to meet organizational requirements
  9. Real Estate and Property Management –  Ability to develop and implement the real estate master plan
  10. Project Management – Ability to plan and oversee projects
  11. Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability – Ability to plan, manage and support the entire organization’s commitment to protecting the environment

With these skills, a facilities manager can ensure the successful operation of the building and everything in it.

Beyond these skills, there are new tools and methods for facilities management that are being developed every year.

Below, you’ll find the newest emerging facilities management trends in 2018 for the public sector (although they apply to the private sector as well).

Government Facilities Management Trends in 2018

Increased Demand for Outsourcing

In 2013, over half of facilities management was outsourced in North America, according to Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

This is attributed to the cost-benefit of outsourcing – it’s simply cheaper to hire an outside facilities manager than to train one in-house.

If you’re on a tight budget, consider outsourcing as a cost-effective solution to the rising cost of in-house managers.

The Internet of Things is More Important Than Ever

The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking over the world, and facilities management is not exempt from its conquest.

Facilities managers have LiFi, smart meters, and cloud-based HVAC systems at their disposal to totally control the energy output of their buildings.

IoT is set to be one of those Government facilities management trends that will continue to be relevant in the years to come, so pay close attention to this one.

More Regulations Requiring the Implementation of “Green Technology”

47 states and a few territories and cities use the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as a model for operating their facilities. It’s adopted in accordance with the regions Governmental codes, but sets a standard by which regions can regulate effective facilities managers.

The 2018 IECC will focus much more on energy-efficient technologies and systems – emphasizing ease of use and conservation.

This facilities management trend towards greener technology means that FMs will be required to track their buildings energy inefficiencies, and consider newer, better upgrades and installations for less costly energy emissions.

Increased Use of Building Information Modeling

Since 2003, when the U.S. General Services Administration first rolled out the 3D and 4D Building Information Modeling (BIM) program, it’s become even more commonplace.

BIM expands the role of facilities managers from maintenance to design and construction. If your facilities managers aren’t using this in your Government buildings yet, they need to start.

Increased Mobility of Workers and Managers

Another technology-driven facilities management trend is the ability of FMs to manage assets and collaborate with coworkers from anywhere at anytime.

With the rise of rugged devices such as thermal imaging cameras and tracking devices, there’s no longer an excuse to operate remote buildings without connectivity.

Location-based services (LBS) also help evolve the role of FMs. Through LBS, FMs can get up-to-date inventory data on supplies for multiple sites and facilitate ordering.

Increased Need for Government Leadership Development and Government Succession Planning

According to Jones Lange LaSalle, the average age of facilities managers is 49, while the general working population average mean age is 43.

Here’s the worst part:

Less than 1% of millennials are planning a career in facilities management.

This means facilities managers are creeping toward retirement and no one will fill their positions.

To counteract this trend, you should increase your Government leadership development and implement a strong Government succession plan.

Transformed Work Environment for Increased Productivity

Facilities managers are now expected to keep up with workplace design trends.

Workplace design plays a pivotal role in attracting and maintaining millennial employees, and both Governments and corporations have a vested interest in keeping their employees as long as possible.

From open-seated areas to quiet spaces to cafes, FMs will be tasked with creating unique spaces that increase employee engagement and productivity.

Integrated Systems for Greater FM Productivity

2018 will be the year of productivity, both for how buildings are designed and for how facilities managers perform their job.

Instead of separate tools and methods for executing tasks like estimating, bidding, or reporting, FM’s will be expected to use powerful software that delivers real-time, data-driven insights.

Big Data Driving Facilities Management

As in most other industries, big data is necessary for driving measurable improvements.

Collecting and analyzing data can help facilities managers detect future power outages and equipment failure.

It can also help FM’s achieve greater energy efficiency by detecting and mapping energy consumption patterns and wasteful practices or equipment.

The more information an FM has about their building the performance of the technology installed in the building, the better decisions the FM can make to decrease costs and improve performance.

Operational Excellence is More Important Than Ever

Facilities managers have to achieve operational excellence in 2018 and beyond or risk losing millions of dollar.

According to the CBRE Institute, there are 3 ways FM’s can drive operational excellence:

  • Efficient cost management and value creation: accomplished through cost reductions, cost avoidance, and risk management initiatives.
  • Maintaining high occupant and client satisfaction: accomplished by managing occupancy, providing safe and functional work environments and providing ap­propriate property or campus amenities.
  • Proactively stewarding property and infrastructure: accomplished through adopting disciplined approach­es to corrective maintenance, preventative maintenance, and customer requests.

Government Facilities Management Requires Cutting-Edge Training

If you’re a budding Government facilities manager or in charge of developing facilities managers, then you know that training is essential.

All Government FMs must be Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act (FBPTA) compliant.

We can help you do that.

From the basics of facilities management to sustainable energy efficiency, we provide authorized training to help you or your employees become FBPTA trained.

We’ll even provide LEED certification and completion certificates.

If you want to keep up with Government facilities management trends, then check out Enterprise Training below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

Schedule Free Consultation

Top OSHA violations: the 10 Most Frequently Cited in 2017

Keep your workplace safe by knowing and avoiding the top OSHA violations for 2017
Keep your workplace safe by knowing and avoiding the top OSHA violations for 2017

 

The top OSHA violations for 2017 was recently released at the National Safety Council’s annual Congress & Expo.

The list comprises the most frequently cited violations observed by OSHA’s inspectors during Fiscal Year 2017.

Here’s the full list including the number of violations for each:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 6,072 violations
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 4,176
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451): 3,288
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 3,097
  5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,877
  6. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,241
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,162
  8. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,933
  9. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,523
  10. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305): 1,405

Most of the violations remained the same as last year, with fall protection occupying the top spot for the 7th year in a row.

One new addition was “Training Requirements” for fall protection, which came in 9th place.

As Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, said during his presentation:

“One thing I’ve said before in the past on this is, this list doesn’t change too much from year to year. These things are readily fixable. I encourage folks to use this list and look at your own workplace.”

In that same spirit, here are the top 10 OSHA violations you should know about to make your workplace safer for all employees.

10 Top OSHA Violations

Top OSHA Violations #1: Fall Protection – General Requirements

The Fall Protection section sets forth requirements for employers to provide fall protection systems.

According to OSHA:

“The employer shall determine if the walking/working surfaces on which its employees are to work have the strength and structural integrity to support employees safely. Employees shall be allowed to work on those surfaces only when the surfaces have the requisite strength and structural integrity.”

Make sure you provide your employees with proper fall protection gear every time they’re working at unsafe heights.

Top OSHA Violations #2: Hazard Communication

The Hazard Communication section attempts to “ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are classified, and that information concerning the classified hazards is transmitted to employers and employees,” according to OSHA.

OSHA designed their requirements to match those of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

OSHA suggests that you create “comprehensive hazard communication programs, which are to include container labeling and other forms of warning, safety data sheets and employee training.”

Top OSHA Violations #3: Scaffolding

The Scaffolding section outlines how a scaffold ought to be constructed for optimal safety.

For example, part 1926.451(a)(1) says “each scaffold and scaffold component shall be capable of supporting, without failure, its own weight and at least 4 times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to it.”

Top OSHA Violations #4: Respiratory Protection

The Respiratory Protection section involves the “control of those occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors, the primary objective shall be to prevent atmospheric contamination,” according to OSHA.

It applies to general industry, shipyards, marine terminals, longshoring, and construction.

You’re required to provide appropriate environmental controls (like ventilation systems) and/or effective respiratory protection devices (like respirators) when your employees are working around hazardous airborne pathogens.

Top OSHA Violations #5: Lockout/Tagout

The Lockout/Tagout section covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees,” according to OSHA.

Your role in protecting employees here is to train them to shut down machines properly, or quickly shut down a machine if it starts up accidentally. You should also conduct periodic inspections of equipment to ensure everything is in working order.

Top OSHA Violations #6: Ladders

The Ladders section outlines requirements for all ladders, including job-made ladders.

For example, part 1926.1053(a)(1)(i) says that each self-supporting portable ladder must sustain “at least four times the maximum intended load, except that each extra-heavy-duty type 1A metal or plastic ladder shall sustain at least 3.3 times the maximum intended load. The ability of a ladder to sustain the loads indicated in this paragraph shall be determined by applying or transmitting the requisite load to the ladder in a downward vertical direction.”

Top OSHA Violations #7: Powered Industrial Trucks

The Powered Industrial Trucks section “contains safety requirements relating to fire protection, design, maintenance, and use of fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines.”

Any trucks that you use that are designated in this section must adhere to the standards laid out in the American National Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks, Part II, ANSI B56.1-1969.

Top OSHA Violations #8: Machine Guarding

The Machine Guarding section details these requirements:

“One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding methods are-barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc.”

Your job is to protect your employees from injuring themselves by guarding all unsafe and dangerous objects, machines, or points in your workplace.

Top OSHA Violations #9: Fall Protection – Training Requirements

The Fall Protection – Training Requirements section requires employers to “provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards,” according to OSHA.

Your role is to help all of your employees understand the hazards of falling and train each of them in the procedures outlined in this section to minimize the danger of falling.

Top OSHA Violations #10: Electrical – Wiring Methods

The Electrical – Wiring Methods section details requirements for all forms of wires and cables.

For example, part 1910.305(a)(1)(i) states that “Metal raceways, cable trays, cable armor, cable sheath, enclosures, frames, fittings, and other metal noncurrent-carrying parts that are to serve as grounding conductors, with or without the use of supplementary equipment grounding conductors, shall be effectively bonded where necessary to ensure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any fault current likely to be imposed on them.”

How to Comply with the Top OSHA Violations

If you want your agency to comply with OSHA’s requirements and not violate any of their mandates, then you’re going to need top-of-the-line training from an organization that specializes in Government Elearning.

You can use our safety health programs to quickly and effectively train your employees to adhere to OSHA’s standards.

From fall protection to hazard communication, we have all the courses you need to stay compliant and keep your workplace safe.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

Schedule Free Consultation