Dry season to Rainy /Wet season
The Lagos state government on April 14 announced that predicted rainfall for this year will be 238-261 days and with high-intensity rains experienced in the last couple of days it is safe to say the rainy season is well on the way.
The rainy season in Lagos state usually comes along with flooding and the year 2021 is not any different as Lagos state government has stated that “the increasing frequency of extreme weather events indicates that year 2021 will likely experience days with extremely high rainfall amounts which may result in flooding”.
Flooding can lead to loss of lives and properties so the challenge for facility managers is how to prevent water property/water damage thereby savings funds that will otherwise be spent on repairs and safety issues created by the rain.
The cornerstone of facility management is planning and as the popular saying goes to fail to plan is to plan to fail hence it is vital that facility managers have a checklist to address the responsibilities and concerns unique to the raining/wet season. Below are some tips and strategies to get the indoor and outdoor of your facility ready for the rain.
Here are our Facility management tips for the weather:
Eliezer Workplace Management Limited believes that the indoor challenges of a facility during the rainy and wet season are unique and different from those of the outdoors as they tend to lean towards the well-being of the employees.
The health and well-being of employees should be of top importance for any organization as it directly impacts the productivity of the employee, so to keep your people safe and sound during the rainy season certain measures can be employed like display the proper signage e.g., SLIPPERY, CAUTION, DANGER etc.
Investing in placemats at the entrance and exits especially anti-mud ones allow employees to keep footwear surfaces dry thereby preventing workplace injury ( slipping and falling) during the season.
Ventilation/Environmental air Quality:
Water that leaks into the interior of the walls is absorbed and lead to the formation of mildew and moulds which now greatly impacts the facility air quality negatively poor making it even dangerous to breathe.
Ensuring adequate ventilation is extremely vital to employees’ health and well-being hence windows should be closed during rains and after the rains open for enough cross ventilation & fresh air, also the sunlight from the opened windows will help get rid of humidity as well take away the musty smell. Air fresheners can be also used during cleaning to freshen up the rooms.
The transition from warmer to colder weather can make people more susceptible to colds and flu as it can lower the immune system’s defences. This risk is heightened in smaller, enclosed spaces like offices, to minimize this risk, FMs should encourage employees to clean their hands extensively using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
Mental health is also something else FMs must look after for even though they are not doctors, during rainy and wet periods people have been known to suffer from Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD).
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons, it is characterized by numerous symptoms which occur at the same time every year. These symptoms can include increased sleep, increased appetite, fatigue, and suicidal thoughts, to minimize these symptoms FMs can do a form of light therapy or phototherapy.
FMs can implement this light therapy by making sure offices/ facilities as bright as possible (UV light are not encouraged) and they can also take advantage of the limited amount of sunlight during the season by making sure that windows are not blocked by thick curtains, all these measures will boost their serotonin level and elevate their moods.
In the areas of sanitation scented cleaning chemicals can be used as they aid to ward off insects and separate waste bins should be used for wet and dry trash to enforce hygiene standards. FMs should also ensure that surfaces and equipment are wiped.
The outdoor challenges of a facility are more tailored to the facility itself and need to be fixed before the rainy season starts. Eliezer Workplace Management Limited has prioritized services that will believe are crucial to keeping outdoor of a facility in top shape during the rains.
The first line of Protection a facility has against heavy rains is its roof so inspection of the roof should be carried before the rains start, the nature of the repair/maintenance work required will depend on the type of roof whether it is slanted or flat as they present unique challenges.
While the roof is the go-to for pre-rains check and maintenance the cracks in walls are ignored until they start to leak and water starts seeping into facilities creating mould and rut, so FMs should Inspect exterior plaster, coatings, and sealants for and make sure any issues are fixed on time.
When it rains the water goes through our street picking debris, trash and leaves along the way and these end up in our gutters so inspection of the gutters before and after rainfall is necessary, as gutters that are maintained back up water causing floods.
Ground maintenance/ Pest Control
Trees with branches that can be weighed down with water or strike houses should be trimmed especially those that hang over the house and gutters as their branches and leaves will most likely cause blockages and guttering problems. One can also consider the fact that trimming trees around the facility protect it from damage caused by storms throwing things at the facility.
Nigeria is not known to have the best gutter/drainage system which means the rainy season comes with waterlogged streets and an opportunity for deadly/infectious diseases to spread. The rains also see pests/rodents migrating indoors to escape the cold so FMs must be proactive and ensure that buildings are regularly fumigated/disinfected, cleaned and checked to prevent the spread of diseases and control pest’s infestation.
FMs should prepare a detailed checklist to be followed pre-rains and after rains, Eliezer Workplace Management Limited can be achieved through proactive maintenance which entails walking around and looking for anything that is not working properly or those showing signs of wear and tear. Implementing these measures avoid costly problems that could grow into bigger expense and financial burdens later.