What is Maintenance in Safety, and Why is Maintenance Important for Safety?

Maintenance engineer

Machines as we all know require regular checks, these checks falls under ‘maintenance’, systems of operation require checks too….

Maintenance is very key all work environments and even more essential in a safety-critical workspace.

In today’s article we will discuss what the term means, and why it is paramount in every workplace.

 

First of all….

What is Maintenance?

 

The meaning according to the Oxford dictionary is “the process of preserving a condition or situation or the state of being preserved.”

In safety ‘Maintenance’ involves all the essential procedures and measures applied to preserve a safe work environment, with all risks checked and hazards identified and isolated.

Some of these measures are preventive and some are corrective… the aim is to return and keep; the systems, machinery, and work space at the right standard. A standard fit for operations without risk of accidents.

Maintenance includes;

  • Lubrication of parts.
  • Welding of; broken pipes, gas bottles, tanks… etc.
  • Fixing or replacing; broken switches, defective machine parts… etc.
  • Checking and fixing of lightings.
  • Repairing doors, windows, grates, manhole seals… etc.
  • Checking wiring, and attending to defective and burnt cables.
  • Polishing surfaces.
  • Replacing expired fire extinguishers or servicing (servicing should be done yearly).
  • Servicing of vehicles and heavy duty equipment.

These are just a few procedures that fall under maintenance. There are so much more done, this all depends on the field of work and nature of work environment and equipment in use.

 

Why is maintenance important in safety?

 

  • It prevents accidents due to breakdown in machinery.
  • It protects life.
  • It prevents breakdown and irreparable damage to property.
  • It is cost effective.
  • It contributes to promoting Zero-hazard goals of the company.

 

Safety should be prioritized during Maintenance (Safety in Maintenance).

Safety in Maintenance is a crucial process for companies. The process of carrying out maintenance is a safety-critical task.

You could be carrying out maintenance in a confined space for example, there are guides to follow while doing so; same goes for building maintenance that would require ‘working at height’ or welding… etc.

The bottom line is the process of maintenance but put safety of the staff first.

Risks involved should be assessed, and hazards controlled to ensure success of the task and protection of the worker.

 

Notes

Failure to observe safe maintenance is a leading cause of deaths in a work place. It is a job that requires the technical know-how it shouldn’t be given as a task to worker with no experience, and applications of the safety guidelines should be followed to the letter.

Unsafe maintenance can result in grave accidents that can cause; loss of life, loss or damage of property, loss of manhours… all this also translates to loss of money. It’s is cost effective to do the right from the start.

These should never be SKIPPED;

  • Risk assessment; this can help to identify areas that require maintenance.
  • Job safety analysis; identifies the hazards associated with the task, and it suggest a control to be implemented; keeping workers safe on the task.
  • Observe the LOTO (log out tag out) when handling work that involves electricity, energised machinery and machinery with moving parts.
  • Obtaining of Permit to work; authorisation from the appropriate departments before work.
  • Monitoring/supervision of work; to ensure a job welldone and incase of emergencies.

 

Thank you for reading!

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