Organisations must think strategically if they are to do more than simply survive in today’s increasingly competitive marketplaces. This thinking applies to both core and non-core business. In the case of the latter, facilities management has a pivotal role to play in support of the core business and must be closely coupled with the organisation's strategy overall.

Ensuring that a client organisation receives the most appropriate type and level of service is an act of intention, not one of faith. Specifying services to reflect the client organisation’s real needs, those of its customers and other interested parties is not a trivial matter and must be adequately addressed. This article reviews the need for service specifications and service level agreements (SLAs) arising from the requirements of stakeholders. The purpose of each and the ways in which they are expected to contribute to the effective management of services provision are identified. Performance monitoring and quality assurance are also discussed.

Occupational health problems may not cause fatal injuries as in the case of general physical injuries on a construction site. Yet, there are far more occupational health injuries than serious physical injuries. Although some problems may be fairly mild, occupational health hazards have a long latency period and what may be a small problem in the short term could prove fatal in the longer term, particularly something like asbestos inhalation. Lung cancer can develop as a result of exposure to such a toxic substance. This article seeks to expose the extent of occupational health problems and suggests how improvements can be made to reduce such occurrences. These include the preparation of health and safety plans for construction work and minimising workplace stress.

More than 2,000 workers have been killed in the last 25 years on construction sites or as a result of construction activities in the UK alone. Many more have been injured or made ill. Clearly, these are not figures to be taken lightly. The importance of safety in construction is fundamental and the only acceptable means of action has to be to the goal of zero accidents. This unit discusses the steps to be taken, including drawing on valuable lessons from the US and Japan.

Assuring health and safety is a key requirement for all construction projects. Avoiding hazards that threaten worker health and safety should be paramount for the client and project team. This unit aims to identify health hazards encountered by workers in the construction sector, to assess the risks these hazards pose and to examine measures for controlling activities in the workplace which have the potential to cause injury and disease. Its focuses on the development of an effective health and safety management system, the application of which will minimise the risk of serious illness and injury among workers in the sector.

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