Regular heavy equipment maintenance is critical to ensure continuous productivity, to produce products of high quality and to keep company’s competitiveness. But it also has an impact on occupational safety and health.
Firstly, good maintenance is essential to keep machines and work environment safe and reliable. Secondly, maintenance itself is a high-risk activity and it has to be performed in a safe way, with appropriate protection of maintenance workers and other people present in the workplace.
Maintenance activities include:
• fault detection
• lubrication, cleaning
Safer and healthier workplaces through adequate maintenance
Maintenance has an important role in eliminating workplace hazards and providing safer and healthier working conditions. Lack of maintenance or inadequate maintenance can cause serious and deadly accidents or health problems.
Accidents happen due to faulty electrical installations (cables, plugs, equipment).
- shock and burns, fires, ignition of potentially flammable or explosive atmospheres
Accidents happen because lifting equipment is not inspected and not maintained regularly:
- lifting chains are dirty/corroded and fail, causing heavy load to fall.
Accidents happen as a result of lack of maintenance of working and walking surfaces and traffic routes:
- uneven, potholed, sloped or slippery surfaces cause `fork-lift truck accidents, slips and trips.
Dust poses a potential health risk to workers in woodworking industry, quarries.
Maintenance of dust control equipment is crucial in all dust producing processes to prevent exposure of workers to dust:
- ventilation ducts must be kept free from blockages and repaired if damaged.
- filter units need to be maintained regularly according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
“ Always keep in mind that maintenance concerns the combination of all technical, administrative and managerial actions during the life cycle of an item intended to retain it in, or restore it to, a state in which it can perform the required function”.
(european standard EN 13306)