Reducing Facility Operator Risk by Identifying and Limiting Access

May 11, 2021

Long before the Lord of the Rings franchise was created, recreation staff held the “precious” control of buildings with a “ring of keys”. This ring often hung from a retractable key holder hooked to an operator’s belt. This key ring was usually passed along from one generation to the next with no direction as to what each key actually controlled.

With a recreation facilities asset management plan you can identify both on and off-site controlled areas. No staff member should be given keyed entry without knowing what security access controls and what potential risks lurks within. Proactive facility managers will develop a quick and highly visible identification system on each high-risk access location. For example, a simple colour coding that identifies what level of employee may enter the area unescorted. Red equals full time properly trained staff and contractors that have completed their facility orientation program or Green equals all staff and contractors that have completed their new employee facility orientation program.

Areas such as crawlspaces and especially above ceiling space electrical installations can be provided with working clearances according to prescriptive requirements, which will lead to better safety for both contracted and facility workers. This clarification regarding what needs to happen in limited access spaces will result in an increased level of compliance and ultimately improve worker safety.

The ORFA has long since promoted that it is more important to advise a worker where we do not want them to go and what they should not try to perform without proper training. The ORFA Legal Awareness 1 – Supervising in a Recreation Environment training courses discusses the importance of dealing with potential health and safety issues at the root cause. Limiting or restricting access is a simple yet effective approach to this goal.