Best Practice Guide 23
8. Health & Safety
If the FM is not already responsible for health and
safety then liaison with the designated Health and
Safety Officer should commence at an early stage.
If there is insufficient expertise internally, advice
should be sought from external specialists.
Risk assessment is the key to success. If a
commercial moving contractor is being engaged,
they should be involved jointly with the organisation’s
own risk assessor (or the external consultant where
The fundamentals are: the premises within which
the property is to be moved and the nature of the
goods involved, especially where these include high-risk,
valuable or fragile items or hazardous goods
requiring special handling.
Sometimes the premises themselves will present
difficulties as found in older city buildings with many
floors, small lifts or those with only passenger-carrying
capacity, narrow stairways, uneven steps or
slippery floors. Heavy or large items such as safes
may need to be lowered and raised at high level
with outside elevators, requiring safe working space.
There may be very little space for goods-carrying
vehicles to park for loading and unloading; there
may be constant passers-by on pavements, or traffic
on narrow streets immediately outside doorways.
The above are just a few examples of the hazards
that can exist and which are merely slight
inconveniences in normal daily life, but which can
cause severe disruption to a commercial move
especially when the schedule is tight.
Therefore, full and detailed risk assessment of all
the stages of a move and each location is critical
and even if word is received during project planning
that certain premises are easily accessible and
will not present any problems, the responsible FM
should always ensure that a qualified risk assessor
carries out an inspection to make sure. It can be
surprising how often some small, detailed potential
complication can be overlooked, especially by those
familiar with a building.
During the move itself, especially out of normal
working hours, there can be an increased risk of
personal accident. It may be something minor such
as a finger cut on a sharp piece of metal furniture, or
more serious such as a hand or foot trapped under
a heavy item. When IT/electrical equipment is being
dismantled or re-commissioned clearly there is the
risk of electrocution. Accordingly, first-aiders
should be on call and team leaders should be
briefed as to whom they should contact in the
event of an accident.
It can be surprising how often some
potential complication can be overlooked,
especially by those familiar with a building.