Ensuring safe machine maintenance

machine maintainence

machine maintenanceEffectively managing your machine maintenance is essential for protecting your workforce. Statistics from the HSE show that 25-30% of manufacturing fatalities in Great Britain relate to maintenance activities.

By undertaking a risk assessment to find out what risks are involved to workers performing maintenance tasks you can then identify the key control measures needed. This may include training for workers and guarding of moving machinery parts.

Ensuring you know everything you can about your machines means that you can plan for things that could go wrong, and find out about different run modes. Read the manuals before putting any new machine into action.

You should also endeavour to develop safe working procedures for both preventative and reactive maintenance, as the circumstances under which workers perform these tasks are likely to be different. Remember that reactive maintenance can occur under pressure, such as when machines have a fault, and staff need clear instructions on how to proceed safely.

Training is also key to safety, you should train workers to isolate and lock off machinery before attempting maintenance activities. Give each worker involved in the operation their own locking off padlock. Ensure any stored pneumatic or hydraulic energy is released before work starts.

Use signage to tell other workers in the area that maintenance is being undertaken. Don’t let anyone else try to start up a machine whilst this is being done – remove all keys and isolate as detailed above.

If you need any further assistance with health and safety procedures regarding machine maintenance or risk assessments please visit  https://www.walkersafety.co.uk.


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