We’ve all heard of distressing work accidents, whether it’s a sixteen wheeler that lost control on the road, or a piece of equipment that stopped working and caused downtime in production.
Following preventive maintenance practices is essential to the care and monitoring of equipment, vehicles and buildings, as well as following industry standards. Preventive maintenance is also important when it comes to extending the life of equipment, vehicles and buildings.
Preventive maintenance just makes good business sense when you want to avoid premature failures, unnecessary production loss and safety violations.
Best practices in preventive maintenance consists of evaluating equipment, vehicles and facilities through activities such as performing tests, reading measurements, replacing parts, making necessary adjustments and performing repairs on a regular basis.
Preventive maintenance includes pre-planned scheduling of inspections, recurring service and maintenance performed by trained employees and agents that are familiar with the proper use of tools and instruments. It applies to every item separately according to manufacturer’s recommendations or industry regulated standards.
Different kinds of preventive maintenance include:
- Mechanical repairs
- Road repairs
- Facility repairs
- Ground repairs
- Vehicle repairs
- Equipment repairs
Planning Your Maintenance Schedule
The first step is to list your equipment and assign the proper identification codes and numbers to help with tracking and scheduling. Don’t forget to indicate the health status and depreciation value of items. Schedule downtime for each asset that is essential to your overall preventive maintenance goals. Better to plan your downtime, rather than have an unexpected surprise. Also, create procedures in the workplace that allows operators and workers to identify issues that may not be a high priority, but needs to be addressed. And finally, schedule routine inspections to ensure repairs, replacements and minor adjustments have been completed to industry standards.
Once you’ve addressed procedures, prioritize preventive maintenance in the workplace. Not only does this make planning for the availability of inventory parts used in repairs easier, it also distributes your costs more evenly and ensures workplace safety. You want to avoid a complete system shutdown due to problems and hazards. Set aside time in your day for a quick evaluation of scheduled maintenance and repairs. Prioritize preventive maintenance by scheduling recurring maintenance and using past work-order records to assess the performance and depreciation of your assets.
Train Your Team
Train your maintenance team in correct service and repair procedures, corresponding to industry standards. It is crucial to your success and it’s the best way to make sure that they learn the right way to perform maintenance and repairs. Make sure everyone is competent in using tools and instruments. Also, safeguard against accidents by properly training and providing access to safety equipment, such as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), as well as gloves, vests, safety hats, ear and sight protection, when necessary.
Put Your Plan into Practice
Once you’ve identified your list of items that need regular preventive maintenance and you’ve set up a routine for each shift to follow, you’ll want to go through each of your inventoried items and determine the tasks to put into action for each item. Starting with inspections to identify, isolate and test assets, to regular servicing and repairs so the item can be restored to its operational condition, or preserved through regular maintenance. Developing a preventive maintenance list of tasks to do, when they need to be done and the frequency needed to perform those tasks, is a good start. Following up with details such as the assigned worker that will perform the tasks, completes a paper trail that functions as an audit trail and documentation to ensure certification. Your operators, drivers and agents are your first line of defense against unexpected breakdowns and repairs.