Facility Maintenance Keeps You Safe

Regular maintenance equals greater worker safety. How, you ask? Improperly functioning machinery puts workers at risk of injury...or worse. Regularly scheduled maintenance can help minimize the risk, save downtime, and save money.

Employees working on or near improperly maintained machines face a variety of risks, from machinery-related incidents, to slips, trip, and falls. Those employees are not the only ones at risk, though. The risk of injury extends to the workers responsible for repairing the machinery. The most common injuries and fatalities linked to maintenance are:

  • Falls from working at heights
  • Confined spaces or harsh environments associated with     accessing 
  • Shocks and burns if power is not properly isolated
  • Injuries from moving machine parts
  • Musculoskeletal problems related to exerting force or working in 
awkward spaces
  • Exposure to asbestos, chemicals, dust, and excessive noise

Maintenance can be broken down into three categories:

  • Routine (preventative) maintenance – performed to keep equipment 
working, or to extend its service life
  • Corrective maintenance – get broken or improperly functioning 
equipment running again 
  • Predictive maintenance – a variety of tests are performed  to indicate 
that maintenance is needed, or will be needed soon

No matter what type of maintenance is being performed, precautions must be made to ensure safety, including:  

  • All sources of electrical power to the equipment being maintained must be disconnected and tagged “OFF” to ensure the power is not turned on while work is being completed. The machine under repair must also be isolated from all others on the same system, and a proper lockout/tagout device must be employed.
  • Maintenance procedures must be developed for all equipment, and should follow manufacturer recommendations.
  • Maintenance activities should be planned, even emergency repairs.
  • Maintenance workers must be trained on the equipment they’re working 
  • Maintenance workers must be properly protected with safety equipment, 
including gloves, eye protection, and hard hats.
  • Any safety devices (machine guards, shields, etc.) removed during 
maintenance must be reinstalled before maintenance is complete.
  • Before the machine is put back into service, repair work should be 
inspected by a supervisor familiar with the equipment. This will ensure the maintenance is complete and the equipment has been properly reassembled. 

Maintenance and safety go hand-in-hand. Regular maintenance helps workers stay safe, and safety practices keep maintenance workers on the job. If you have any questions about how our products can help you and your workers safely maintain your facility, give our Technical Support Reps a call at 800-922-8553, or email techsupport@northernsafety.com. They’ll help you find the right products to fit your need.

Northern Safety Co., Inc.
PO Box 4250. Utica, NY 13504-4250
Phone: 1-800-571-4646
Fax: 1-800-635-1591

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