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Outsourcing Safety Operations in Life Sciences Facilities: Four Key Criteria

Jones Lang LaSalle report finds that selecting an expert environmental health and safety (EHS) team mitigates operational risks

CHICAGO, Sept. 3, 2013 — As life sciences organizations outsource more of their non-core activities, the safety systems associated with those functions become increasingly complex. Managing safety requires a set of capabilities that are not central to the life science business, according to a new report from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

“Managing all safety programs in-house may seem like a low-risk option, but, in reality, this can actually be a missed opportunity to reduce compliance risks, increase efficiency and improve the bottom line,” observed Ed Ryczek, Director, Environmental Health and Safety, Jones Lang LaSalle. “The proper outsourcing partner can allow life science organizations to focus more intently on the core aspects of the business — the development and delivery of critical medicines — without getting side-tracked by additional safety and compliance concerns.”

The right outsourcing partner can help a life sciences organization minimize risk and maximize its bottom line.  Here are four key criteria for selecting a facilities safety operations team:

  1. History of Success in Life Science Outsourcing. Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, an outsourcing partner should be able to provide documentation of its commitment to safety performance and compliance. Leading providers will be able to show performance metrics, including lagging metrics, such as injury rates for their employees and subcontractors, environmental incidents and proactive/leading indicators such as good catches/positive observations, safety training completion, quantification of safety communications and committees, and verification reviews and inspections. Successful partners will also administer a procurement review and verification of key metrics for vendors and contractors.
  2. 2.    Depth of Expertise. It’s important that potential partners have the environmental, health and safety (EHS) resources that can account for all of a company’s facilities, regardless of geographic location, functionality, specific scope and technical needs. Safety and environmental regulations vary by national, state and local jurisdiction. A provider should be able to leverage the depth of their resources to deliver the technical EHS expertise where needed, with the proper local requirements as well. Typical EHS skill sets that provider teams deliver include: OSHA regulatory expertise; incident investigation; EHS management system development and installation; construction/project safety support; environmental expertise; hazardous waste management; and waste treatment operations.
  3. 3.    Consistent Delivery of EHS Programs, including Education and Training. Ultimately, the success of EHS in outsourcing activities will be based on a partner’s ability to ensure that employees and contractors in the partnership are trained in, and deliver, consistent services with a “safety first” mind-set. Providers need to ensure that all staff has the appropriate level of safety education and awareness and are able to deliver on standard operating procedures (SOPs) consistently across all facilities. It is also important to reinforce the training with a robust continuing education program. Additionally, if and when non-compliant procedures are observed, the lapse should be approached as an opportunity to reinforce safety procedures to prevent more serious incidents from occurring. Safety promotion around the facility is also effective. Visual indicators, such as signs and posters, will promote awareness of surroundings.
  4. 4.    Transparent Reporting and Indicators. Leaders in life science facilities need to be aware of facility risks so they can properly plan for and manage them. Unaddressed issues can cause unpredictable incidents that pose threats to personnel and production. The right partner will ensure that facility executives are up to date, and will supply investigation reports of incidents and events, including key insights to avoid similar future events. They will develop safety and injury reports trending occurrences to identify focus areas. Through this analysis, leaders can evaluate performance trends, minimize uncertainty and optimize facility performance.

Successful providers will also track current in-house staff, contractors and subcontractors. They will report injuries and other events categorized by workgroup, location and activity. Additionally they will openly and honestly share performance information across similar operations to improve overall safety of all accounts. These reports promote accountability and should be built into evaluations.

Jones Lang LaSalle has a team of real estate and facility management experts dedicated to helping life sciences companies optimize and manage their real estate portfolios. The firm provides a comprehensive range of facilities management services to the life sciences community covering 70 million square feet of research, manufacturing and commercial space. Jones Lang LaSalle’s industry-leading full-service platform includes: integrated facilities management, engineering and operations, energy and sustainability, transaction advisory services, lease administration, project management and a new platform for integrating laboratory services, Labwell.  

A leader in the real estate outsourcing field, JLL’s Corporate Solutions business helps corporations improve productivity in the cost, efficiency and performance of their national, regional or global real estate portfolios by creating outsourcing partnerships to manage and execute a range of corporate real estate services. This service delivery capability helps corporations improve business performance, particularly as companies turn to the outsourcing of their real estate activity as a way to manage expenses and enhance profitability.
For more news, videos and research resources on Jones Lang LaSalle, please visit the firm’s global media center Web page

About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual revenue of $3.9 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle operates in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services to a property portfolio of 2.6 billion square feet and completed $63 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2012. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $46.3 billion of real estate assets under management. For further information, visit