What is plant maintenance?
Plant maintenance is to keep your plant and machinery in good working order, avoid downtime and ensure the safety of workers. The maintenance is carried out on plant to prevent any possible problems from arising, fix any existing problems and to ensure that all the equipment is working correctly and efficiently.
It may be carried out as part of a scheduled programme or it may be short notice due to a problem or breakdown. The main aim of plant maintenance is to expose any potential problems and risks and fix them before they happen or become problematic.
What is the importance of plant maintenance?
Maintaining your plant and equipment is essential to prevent problems arising, identify and fix any faults, avoid or minimise downtime and most importantly ensure safety. Maintenance can be part of a planned programme or could be carried out on short notice if there is a breakdown. Where maintenance has not been done at the right intervals can expose those using the plant machinery as well as others around to potential risks.
An effective programme of maintenance will make your plant and equipment more reliable in the long term. Fewer breakdowns will mean less dangerous contact with the machinery will be needed as well as the cost benefits of improved productivity and efficiency. Further hazards can occur when machinery starts to become unreliable and develops faults.
Regular maintenance allows these faults to be identified early which helps to manage the risks. However, it’s important to remember that maintenance needs to be properly planned and carried out by qualified professionals. Unsafe maintenance can lead to serious injuries or worse, highlighting the need for plant and machinery to be properly maintained and repaired.
Helping you meet your responsibilities to your employees
If you are an employer and you provide plant machinery equipment for workers use, you need to demonstrate that you have plans in place to ensure they are maintained safely. You will need to consider what types of hazards could occur for example:
- If the tools break during use
- Machinery starting up unexpectedly
- Workers come into contact with materials that are normally protected inside the machine, i.e. caused by breakages, leaks, ejection etc
Having a proper maintenance plan will minimise the potential for accidents. If you do notice any issues with your equipment and are looking for maintenance or plant repairs, or if you need any help with your plant maintenance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with CJ Plant. Our team are highly experienced and have specialist knowledge to help get your plant machinery working with as little disruption to your operations as possible.
We can very quickly evaluate and diagnose any issues with your plant and machinery. We can repair, replace and supply parts for a range of plant and equipment including Hydraulic repairs, Hydraulic Motors, Finals Drives, Center Swivel Joints, Swing Reduction Units, Control Valve Blocks from leading names including JCB, Komatsu, Volvo, Hitachi, Liebherr, Case, CAT, Kobelco, Doosan, Linde and more.
Effective maintenance of your plant & machinery
A useful step in reducing risk in your plant is establishing a planned maintenance programme as well as having a procedure for reporting in place so workers can make you aware if they notice problems when working on machinery. Some parts of your plant and equipment might have safety-critical features where deterioration would cause risks.
With that in mind you should have arrangements in place to make sure the necessary checks and maintenance are carried out. However, there are other things you will want to consider when it comes to repair and maintenance including:
- Knowing if your maintenance work should be carried out by specialist contractors, as staff shouldn’t take on work which they aren’t qualified or competent enough to do. That’s why we are here to help at CJ Plant; we can thoroughly conduct your maintenance and complete any plant machinery repairs that are needed in a timely and competitively priced way.
- Trying to use downtime for maintenance, this will help to avoid the difficulties of coordinating maintenance and production work if the maintenance is completed before start-up or during shut down periods.
- Where possible, planning any maintenance work in advance. This will help to avoid any unexpected downtime and delays and reduce risks. This will also give us sufficient time to use our network of parts suppliers for a timely resolution of any issues.
- Setting up signs and barriers and position workers at key areas if they are needed to keep unauthorised people out while maintenance and repairs are underway.
The do’s and don’ts of plant and equipment maintenance
- Make sure maintenance is carried out by a competent person whether in your team or an external contractor such as CJ Plant. Your maintenance person should be someone who has the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to complete the work safely.
- Where possible, maintain your plant and equipment regularly, using the manufacturer’s instructions as a guide (particularly if there are safety-critical features).
- Introduce a procedure that allows workers to report damaged or faulty equipment.
- Schedule maintenance to reduce the risk to other workers and the person carrying out the maintenance person where possible.
- Ensure maintenance is done safely so that machines and moving parts are isolated or locked and flammable/toxic/explosive materials are dealt with correctly.
- Ignore any maintenance that is needed
- Try to do any maintenance that you are not qualified for
- Ignore reports from your workers of damaged or unsafe equipment
- Try to use faulty or damaged equipment