Steps for Safely Maintaining Manufacturing Equipment
Routine maintenance on plant machinery is vital to identify faults, remedy defects and ensure equipment is working as expected. Moreover, an effective maintenance program can increase equipment reliability, which is beneficial for optimal productivity. However, maintenance work can result in serious injuries or fatalities. Indeed, maintenance activities can expose employees to a range of hazards, including falls from height and entanglement.
As such, it’s critical that your business carries out such activities carefully. Consider the following steps for safely maintaining equipment:
- Plan maintenance work thoroughly. Before beginning maintenance activities, carefully plan the work beforehand. Specifically, conduct a risk assessment, consult any manufacturer’s maintenance instructions and implement a safe system of work. Ensure maintenance staff are fully trained and provided with appropriate personal protective equipment.
- Establish safe working areas. Organize a safe place of work for maintenance workers that includes the isolation of any hazards. If you deem the work too risky, consider engaging the services of a specialist contractor. Additionally, install warning signs and barriers to protect those working nearby.
- Isolate machinery. Ensure moving parts have stopped before maintenance work begins. Isolate electrical and other power supplies, and allow components that operate at high temperatures to cool beforehand. Furthermore, avoid work that involves entering tanks and vessels where possible.
- Utilize downtime. Schedule maintenance to minimize the hazards posed to both maintenance workers and other employees. Ideally, arrange routine maintenance work before opening or during shutdown periods.
Regular maintenance is essential to keep equipment, machines and the workplace safe. Although maintenance activities can be dangerous, you can reduce the likelihood of accidents through sensible risk mitigation measures.
Contact us today for further information on manufacturing safety practices and risk mitigation strategies.
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