Many confuse facilities management and custodial duties or what's known in the industry as "environmental services." We'll detail the work of these two separate but distinct areas within a well-maintained and high-functioning commercial or government facility.
What is Facilities Management?
Facilities management refers to the organization and coordination of the resources and services that support the operation of a physical facility, such as a building or complex of buildings.
Facilities management responsibilities include:
- Upkeep of the physical structure
- Maintaining systems and management for utilities and security
- Other resources are needed for the facility to function effectively
Facilities management is concerned most with the physical structure. We'll see how environmental services take a different route next.
What are Environmental Services?
Environmental services, also known as housekeeping or custodial services, is a department within facilities management responsible for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene. Think of checklist items such as trash removal, liner laundering, and cleaning surfaces and restrooms.
Environmental services may also be responsible for properly disposing of hazardous materials, such as medical waste, and may work closely with other departments to ensure that the facility complies with relevant environmental regulations.
Facilities Management vs. Environmental Services
While facilities management and environmental services may be closely related, they are distinct departments with different responsibilities. Facilities management is concerned with the overall operation and maintenance of a facility, while environmental services focus on maintaining cleanliness and hygiene.
Coordination is Key in Larger Commercial Facilities
In more extensive facilities, such as hospitals or universities, facilities management may also include departments such as grounds maintenance, engineering, and energy management. These departments work together to ensure the facility is well-maintained and operates efficiently.
Overall, the main difference between facilities management and environmental services is the scope of their responsibilities. Facilities management is responsible for the overall operation and maintenance of a facility, while environmental services focus on maintaining cleanliness and hygiene. While the two departments may work closely together, they have distinct roles and responsibilities.
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