The International Facility Management Association-Ghana (IFMA GH), has asked institutions to make emergency preparedness and business continuity a priority to safeguard workers in the country.
The call has been necessitated by the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic at workplaces, including people losing their jobs.
Mr Sampson Opare-Agyemang, President, IFMA-GH, explained that the pandemic had unearthed the essence of establishing functional emergency preparedness and business continuity unit in both public and private institutions.
He said: “We’re not out of the woods yet, but COVID has taught us a lot of things that we must implement at the workplace so that when such emergencies occur, they’ll not strike us so hard to the extent of some institutions folding up.”
He noted that though predicting a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic would be a difficult task, putting in place strategies in place would help reduce the impact on the working environment and workers.
The Facilities Management professional said: “If you put strategies in place and they strike, you’re able to minimise it or even resist it for you to be able to continue your business as in a normal environment.”
He, therefore, encouraged both public and private institutions to create an emergency preparedness and business continuity unit so that in the occurrence of any pandemic or business crisis, they would not be overwhelmed.
The call comes as Ghana joins the world in marking the 2022 Global Facility Management (FM) Day on the theme, “Leading a Sustainable Future,” with the Ghana Chapter focusing on: “The Health and Wellbeing in a post-COVID hybrid working environment in Ghana.”
Mr Opare-Agyemang noted that facilities management influences the health, safety, productivity, and wellbeing of people who utilise the built environment, as such, putting in place mechanisms to safeguard their employment and welfare was critical.
He urged the Government to adopt a Public Private Partnership model that guaranteed long term maintenance and sustainability of the built environment.
He also asked the Government to ensure that the design of public buildings met environmentally compliant and international standards.
In addition to education on maintenance culture, the Association’s President urged the Government, business owners and financial institutions to strengthen their workers with adequate skills in understanding of the value of facilities management.
IFMA Ghana launched this year’s celebration of the World FM Day, which will be marked on Wednesday May 11, 2022, in Accra.
The Association on the day, would have a forum to discuss the strategic role of facility management in sustaining the built environment, and address issues of the health and wellbeing of workers in a post-COVID hybrid working environment.