The end of the pandemic is in sight. Plans to reopen mean we’re on the path to get back to business. We’re seeing many companies enter the tactical phase to prepare their facilities for the return to full-scale operations.
Despite this optimism, we can’t lose sight of the continued risk. All procedures and protocols established during 2020 must be maintained to ensure safety for all who step foot in your building. Taking all necessary precautions to ensure a safe environment compliant with regulations is vital to prevent any unfortunate incidents.
When it comes to successfully reopening your building(s), consider providing your cleaning, maintenance, and inspection teams with a facility maintenance checklist and/or a facility inspection checklist.
Moving towards the new normal in facilities management
Facilities maintenance and operations gained increased prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the inspection, cleaning, and maintenance tasks already part of the facility management role, new requirements emerged post-pandemic. These responsibilities include:
- Site readiness
- Sanitization processes
- Temperature checks
- Employee self-assessment
- Contact tracing, exposure reporting, and notification
- Quarantine tracking
- Social distancing compliance
- Reduced density measures to limit traffic
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) adherence
- Environmental quality controls
- Indoor air quality and ventilation
- Contamination response plans
- Checks on increasingly taxed assets such as HVAC systems and air purifiers
We understand it can be overwhelming to even begin to think about what’s involved with a safe reopening. An excellent way to start is to walk through your facility, create a list of every single new operational activity you’ve added as part of your COVID mitigation strategy and define,
- who will perform the inspection, maintenance, or cleaning,
- when, and how often,
- what observations need to be gathered,
- how to measure the impact of any actions you undertake based on your observations,
- if there are any unintended consequences of changes you propose, and
- where the collected data is to go, including which teams require access to this information, and how you’ll use data to make informed decisions.
The work outlined above provides the foundation you’ll use to create a facility maintenance checklist and/or facility inspection checklist to address your reopening plans.
Facility maintenance takes center stage
Given the current nature of the virus’ transmissibility, facility maintenance and cleaning must be at the forefront of your reopening plans. Who better to know where any pitfalls may lie than the frontline worker? Consult with your maintenance and cleaning teams to obtain valuable feedback on the protocols and responsibilities you defined earlier.
Moreover, cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing are additional tasks added on top of regular facility maintenance. On top of this, many buildings will require some degree of work to be restored to a state ready to welcome increased numbers of people. Maintenance teams will need to move quickly without sacrificing safety given what’s at stake if they fail.
So, be open to change. While your aim is a successful reopening plan, the fluctuating nature of the pandemic will keep you on your toes after you open the doors. Maintenance frequencies may need to be adjusted, and your staffing requirements may shift. A facility maintenance checklist will ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
How can a facility checklist help?
Now that you have a good sense of what goes into your facility inspection and/or facility maintenance checklist(s), now’s the time to act. If you’re not yet convinced as to why you need to leverage these tools, here are a few positive outcomes to be seen from implementing checklists as part of facility management.
Benefits gained by using a facility checklist
- Ensure field service technician safety and reduce risk of exposure to the coronavirus
- Lower workers’ compensation costs
- Boost workforce productivity and retention
- Promote safety protocols
- Improve ease and efficiency of inspections & maintenance
- Prevent citations and fines
- Ensure positive inspections and maintenance work
- Maintain building compliance
- Record and document observations easily
- Gain transparency into observations and suggested improvements
- Share data across departments to support audits
- Stimulate or accelerate a move towards digital transformation and a paperless office
If left unchecked, facilities are at risk and can put workers, visitors, occupants, and the entire organization in jeopardy when reopening after COVID. Facility inspection and facility maintenance checklists provide added peace of mind when ensuring everyone’s safety.
In conclusion, with the return to the new normal underway as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no doubt that continued vigilance is top of mind as you begin to open your buildings. Preparedness is the key here, and the more ready you are to assure people your indoor environment is safe, the better.
Having a facility checklist to rely upon can go a long way towards ensuring a compliant and safe facility that everyone will feel comfortable returning to. ProntoForms makes it easy for you to rapidly build custom mobile forms to help with your reopening post-pandemic. Reach out today for a demo to learn how we can help you achieve success.