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A facilities supervisor ensures the soundness, safety and security of a commercial building or group of buildings. She is in charge of the maintenance, repair and improvements to the property, including the hiring, training and supervision of the personnel responsible for these functions. She may work in the private or public sector in a variety of facilities of varying sizes.
A person in this position oversees all activities that affect the physical environment of the employees. She frequently confers with all department heads to identify areas of concern and prioritize projects based on need. If any of the concerns involve safety issues, they are commonly given top priority.
Efficient maintenance of the facility and guaranteeing its safety are often two of the facilities supervisor’s top priorities. She is typically responsible for hiring and supervising the employees who clean and maintain the buildings and grounds. Her job also may require her to make certain building construction, fire safety and security measures are in place and regularly checked for compliance with local and regional maintenance and performance standards.
Any projects that relate to facility maintenance and upgrades are generally under the direction of the facilities supervisor. She commonly reviews and approves requests from different departments, effectively plans projects for minimal disruption and hires necessary outside vendors and contractors. Budget development and execution often are part of her job, as is ensuring labor and materials costs are within guidelines.
If physical improvements are planned for the facility, the supervisor is generally in charge of all aspects of renovation and remodeling. She ordinarily screens, hires, schedules and monitors the work of carpenters, plumbers and painters. Electricians and heating and cooling technicians also normally report to the facilities supervisor.
Excellent oral and written communication skills typically are necessary for a facilities supervisor to be successful. She is normally required to speak with all levels of management and personnel to identify and resolve concerns. Reports on maintenance and personnel issues are generally part of her job, as are writing reports and maintaining books and records. Contract review and administration are typical job responsibilities.
Qualifying for a position as a facilities supervisor normally requires a bachelor’s degree with a technical concentration, preferably related to industrial or commercial safety or environmental compliance. Anywhere from two to eight years experience in commercial or industrial building repair, maintenance or construction is generally required as well. A background in equipment or plant maintenance, industrial utility operations or commercial security is also desirable.
Yes, I imagine that safety would be an ongoing concern and at the top of her daily agenda. You would have to keep up on current regulations and probably confer with company counsel from time to time to know exactly what’s expected of you to remain in compliance.
For that reason alone, I think that it would be quite a stressful job. It's not one that I would want, personally. I have my hands full just making sure that I am complying with everything that my company expects of me, let alone making sure that a coworker doesn’t needlessly stumble down the stairs.
I think that the most important part of facilities supervisor’s job has to be that part which has to do with safety regulations.
OSHA is pretty strict about its requirements. If there’s an accident on the job, and it was found that the building was not in compliance with safety regulations, you can bet that heads are going to roll, and the facilities supervisor will be at the top of that food chain.
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