August 28, 2023
Avoiding Maintenance Hazards
Safety is job one. At all of my taekwondo tournaments, the meeting with the judges before the tournament starts stresses that everyone wants to have fun and to have fun, we have to be safe. Safety is one of those matters that we all do in one form or another. A seatbelt, driving the speed limit, not running with scissors, etc. At the workplace, it's a big part of why preventive maintenance is done. In this week's post, we'll look at avoiding maintenance hazards and show how a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can aid in conducting those types of preventive maintenance jobs.
What are maintenance hazards?
Maintenance hazards refer to any potential safety hazards that can result from poor maintenance practices. They can include anything from faulty electrical wiring to slippery floors or uneven sidewalks. These hazards can cause accidents and injuries to tenants, visitors, and employees if not addressed promptly.
Why is it important to avoid maintenance hazards?
As mentioned above, it's to avoid injuries. Beyond that, property owners and managers have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for all those who use the property, and failing to do so can result in legal and financial repercussions.
In addition to the legal costs, preventive maintenance to avoid hazards save money. Repairing, cleaning, or inspecting something now helps avoid more expense when something major fails later.
Tips for avoiding maintenance hazards
1. Conduct regular inspections
Monthly, quarterly, annually, or whatever is the recommendation for a particular asset. They help identify potential hazards before they become significant problems.
Inspections mean more than just "eyeballing" the asset and calling it good. Inspections may take time to be thorough. Document the steps involved. Perhaps complete a checklist that each step has been completed.
2. Train staff on proper maintenance procedures
This is not just training on what to do during preventive maintenance jobs, but non-maintenance people on procedures and rules to follow when on-site. This means obeying posted warnings and regulations, staying out of certain areas, wearing proper PPE when in certain areas, and reporting anything amiss so maintenance can check it out and resolve the issue.
This is also training "production" line workers on the proper use of machinery. How to use it, how not to use it, and some basic maintenance care for the equipment. Part of the correct ways to use the machinery is to always wear PPE if required and to use protective guards. Yes, production may be sped up without those guards but the risk of injury or worse increases.
3. Provide adequate lighting
Companies can invest in reduced energy lighting but should shirk on adequate illumination in hallways, stairwells, and basements. When conducting repairs within the equipment, don't guess where something is. Use proper lighting to see the repairs that need to be made.
4. Address water damage promptly
Water damage can lead to mold growth, which can cause respiratory problems and other health issues. Spills, of course, need to be cleaned up as soon as possible. Don't let leaks go untended. You're wasting resources and money and leaks can cause other damage.
5. Properly maintain heating and cooling systems
These need annual inspections and filter changes. Proper venting that is free of dirt, dust, and debris.
6. Provide proper signage
This was mentioned before. For potentially hazardous areas, the proper warnings and notifications need to be posted. Even something as simple as posting a sign that a fire door needs to remain closed is important. Temporary signs need to be posted for wet floors, icy walks, etc.
7. Keep walkways and common areas clear
Cluttered walkways and common areas can pose tripping hazards. While this is an obvious and common sense tip, you'd be amazed how often people get the "I'll take care of that later" mindset. The problem gets delayed, forgotten, and the natural tendency toward chaos ensues with more stuff in the way.
8. Respond promptly to maintenance requests
If the problem is urgent and important, yes, get to it ASAP. Once again, leaving issues neglected risks further problems. If there is a reason for a delay, then at least post notifications or signs for others to avoid the area.
9. Have an emergency plan in place
Every company needs a plan for evacuation in case of emergencies. A plan needs to be in place for employees to go in case of tornadoes or other severe storms. Maintenance teams or other workers need to have a plan for priority-one issues.
With a CMMS, a maintenance department can be better organized with preventive maintenance and communications with coworkers.
1. Preventive maintenance organization: First, a supervisor can create a list of preventive maintenance, input their cycles, assign those PMs to assets, and assign inventory to those jobs. The PMs can be planned, scheduled, and dispatched with accompanying feedback when the job is complete.
2. Centralized maintenance records: All of the records of maintenance, PM and otherwise, are in one system. A supervisor can call up reports and focus on particular areas for costs and labor information. These reports are handy for management and regulators.
3. Asset management: Avoiding maintenance hazards is part of asset management. Recording equipment readings, knowing depreciation records, and knowing equipment hierarchy among other aspects, are all important to avoid hazards. This is where maintenance and production can work together.
4. Work order management: A CMMS can streamline work order management by assigning tasks to maintenance personnel and tracking progress. This can ensure that tasks are completed on time and according to established procedures, reducing the likelihood of hazards.
5. Inventory management: Proper oversight of inventory ensures that stock will be available when PMs, repairs, and emergency repairs are needed. A CMMS can help in noting critical spares, generating a purchase request when amounts fall low, and knowing the location of each item in stock. All are important so delays don't happen.
Yes, it's safety that is of utmost importance in avoiding maintenance hazards. But don't forget about the production time lost. Hazards delay the output of the company and increase costs. Adherence to the above tips can greatly reduce problems. Many are common sense but are no less important.
A CMMS can help with maintenance operations. With so much versatility, a quality system can improve existing strategies, reduce those costs, and increase productivity.
For a world-class CMMS, visit Mapcon and then call 800-922-4336. Mapcon wants your maintenance management to be the best. It's why they have the best product. Call today.