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Facilities Management: “HSE Departments…an Asset of an Asset”

The IOSH Caribbean Branch hosted its branch meeting on Facilities Management on Friday, 23rd August, 2019 at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The topic, Facilities Management: “HSE Departments…an Asset of an Asset” was presented by Mr. Tyrel Melville, a facilities management professional with over 15 years’ experience in the field, who has served occupiers in over 17 Caribbean countries.

The meeting was chaired by Shazam Edoo, Vice Chair of the Caribbean Branch. He invited attendees to begin the evening by taking some time to network with fellow practitioners. The meeting was well attended as the topic sparked a high level of interest among current and prospective members. The meeting was officially called to order at 6:00pm by Mr. Edoo, following which he invited a volunteer from the audience to provide a safety moment. Branch member, Joanne Samsundar shared on safety moment related to animals and their movement during the rainy season. She reminded persons to be vigilant about where they park their cars or place their belongings when visiting remote sites as animals such as snakes, spiders and scorpions may seek shelter in such places to escape damp conditions.

Following the brief discussions on the safety moment shared, the feature speaker was introduced by the branch Vice Chair. Mr. Tyrel Melville began his presentation by posing a question to the attendees, in which he asked, “Do you think your role as an OSH Practitioner is a thankless job?” This question opened a discussion where many persons highlighted that the role of the OSH Practitioner is indeed an important one but is sometimes not valued in an organization.

Mr. Melville’s presentation covered the role of the Real Estate Asset Management team to industrial establishments, the manner in which risk is purposefully managed through Real Estate Management and the strategic role of the OSH Practitioner in managing property risk. One of the key points he discussed was ‘practical pessimism’. He explained that professionals in asset management must work with OSH Practitioners to not only think about if something bad happens but rather to plan for when something bad happens. This, he explained means that we must be prepared, planning for the ‘what if’ but strategizing for the ‘when’.

The presenter also urged Practitioners to be creative in validating the importance of health and safety to their management team. When lobbying for the integration of health and safety risk management with facilities management, the only reason should not be the threat of fines from an enforcement body but rather several other justifications are valid, such as managing the risk of disasters, business continuity for reduced downtime and loss of profits, as well as reputational risk. He went on the give practical examples of the strategic role of the OSH Practitioner in various aspects of a business including Project Management and Engineering.

Following the presentation, Mr. Melville took the time to answer questions from the audience. At the end of the meeting, our Vice Chair thanked the presenter for his time and engaging presentation, following which he was presented with a token of appreciation on behalf of the branch by Jenelle Duff, IOSH Caribbean Branch Secretary.

Download the presentation.