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The Maintenance Management Blog

May 27, 2014

Your Ultimate Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Your Ultimate Preventative Maintenance Checklist

If you work in the reliability industry as a facility manager, then you know the importance of preventative maintenance, not only in the realm of machines and equipment but in terms of buildings and grounds as well. If you have a solid preventative maintenance (PM) plan in place already, kudos to you. If you use a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), then you are a step ahead of the game. But I am going to take things one step further, as this week, we are going to look at the ultimate preventative maintenance checklist - a tool that will vastly improve your maintenance system!

I won't bore you with the details of why preventative maintenance is important - hopefully, I don't need to! However, I will tell you why a PM checklist is pivotal when it comes to successfully implementing your preventative maintenance plan.

As maintenance professionals, we tend to take certain aspects of our job for granted. After all, we have been maintaining equipment and buildings for most - if not all - of our careers. In fact, we could probably do our job blindfolded if need be - or if someone bet us enough money that we couldn't!

But that sort of thinking is what ultimately gets us in trouble and is where our friend the preventative maintenance checklist comes in handy. No matter how long we have been performing our duties and no matter how good we are at our job, there will come a time when we forget something routine. Inevitably, that skipped process will lead to a machine breaking down or worse.

Preventative maintenance checklists give us a clear list of things to check for or steps to take for every piece of machinery or area in our building that needs maintaining.

Finally, checklists help us document the work we have done on machinery and our facility, meaning that if something goes wrong - either broken equipment or a safety hazard - we have proof that we performed our due diligence.

Preventative Maintenance Checklists for Facilities

Providing a definitive preventative maintenance checklist for every facility would be impossible, as each facility is different, has different assets and buildings - the list goes on and on. However, I can walk you through how to create a quick template so that you can make your own, personalized PM checklist.

For each facility you manage, create checklists for every building. Start from the top of the building down and make notes of each part of the building that needs maintenance. Make notations for each step of the process alongside a checkbox for you (or your staff) to check off, signifying that the work was done. Also, be sure to leave a place for the employee to put the date the maintenance was performed and a place to put their initials or signature (or both).

For example, let's say you have one building under your domain. Starting at the top, we would make a checklist specifically for the roof. In the "Roof" checklist, we would add action items such as:

  • Clear roof drains
  • Check for water leaks and damaged roofing tiles
  • Examine previously damaged sections for integrity
  • Check flashings for damage
  • Examine problem areas for leaks

This is, of course, a simplistic list - your actual list will differ greatly depending upon the type of roofing material you use - but you get the point.

Once you have checklists for every part of your building (including the grounds), it is time to make checklists for machinery and equipment inside of the building. This checklist should include things like your HVAC system, boiler, plumbing fixtures, lighting, doors and stairwells, safety equipment (fire extinguishers, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors, etc), and any other pertinent equipment critical to the actual building or grounds.

From there, you can continue the same process for every asset under your care - computers, lawn mowers, heart monitors, any item you provide maintenance for.

While this may seem like a daunting task and will initially be time-consuming, in the end, it will save you not only time but a lot of grief and money as well. Keep your facility running smoothly and use every tool at your disposal - including a CMMS and, of course, preventative maintenance checklists!


Lisa Richards

About the Author – Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is an experienced professional in the field of industrial management and is an avid blogger about maintenance management systems and productivity innovation. Richards' undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering opened the door for her initial career path with a Midwest-based agricultural implement manufacturer with global market reach. Over a span of 10 years, Lisa worked her way through various staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process until reaching the operations manager level at a construction and forestry equipment facility. Lisa excelled at increasing productivity while maintaining or lowering operating budgets for her plant sites.

An Illinois native, Lisa recently returned to her suburban Chicago North Shore hometown to raise her family. Lisa has chosen to be active in her community and schools while her two young girls begin their own journey through life. Richards has now joined the MAPCON team as an educational outreach writer in support of their efforts to inform maintenance management specialists about the advantages in marrying advanced maintenance software with cutting-edge facility and industrial management strategies.

Filed under: preventive maintenance, scheduled maintenance — Lisa Richards on May 27, 2014