Safetip #111: Preventative Maintenance Program & Schedule
Consider Equipment as a Contributing Factor to Hazards
To effectively identify workplace hazards that can create risks of illness and injury, it’s important to become aware of the four most likely contributing factors: People, Equipment, Materials, and Workplace Environment. When considering equipment as a contributing factor, verify whether equipment and machinery are being properly maintained.
Companies should develop a preventative maintenance program and equipment maintenance schedule, in order to proactively avoid hazards caused by the breakdown of equipment, tools and machinery. Equipment breakdowns can cause injuries, damage to property and assets, and costly production delays, which can all be prevented through the implementation of a preventative maintenance system. A report by the Canadian province of Alberta, Building an Effective Health and Safety Management System, emphasizes that the standards for the maintenance program should be based on manufacturer recommendations, industry standards, past incidents, and data from hazard and risk assessments.
Evaluate the Preventative Maintenance Program
To promote employee participation and engagement, actively involve them in the development of the preventative maintenance program and equipment maintenance schedule. A good preventative maintenance program requires workers to inspect their tools and equipment regularly. If a tool or piece of equipment is found to be defective, it should be taken out of service. In addition, company policy should also include a requirement to purchase tools and equipment in accordance with industrial and other applicable standards.
Finally, the results of workplace inspections, including those regularly scheduled and those initiated following an incident, should also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the preventative maintenance program.
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