The great annual in-house cleaning..
For most people, the end of the year is associated with the Christmas spirit. But for those in charge of maintenance of equipment, machinery and production floors, this time marks the start of a period of worries rather than calm and peace. Let us give you some advice on how you can master this servicing period without stress and with more safety.
All working machines require regular maintenance. And it is usually between the holidays that you have time to do that. When you start on such servicing, you need to make two things very clear from the very beginning:
- What needs to be done - put together a list of tasks to be carried out.
- Who will carry out the different activities - production staff, maintenance technicians, or will you use outsourcing for the work?
We cannot help you with the work itinerary, as you are the ones who know your business the best. But we have plenty of experience when it comes to people and their safety.
If you are not able to do something, leave it up to a specialist
This title could perfectly sum up the contents of the entire article; nevertheless, let's have a closer look. With the correct approach and distribution of tasks, you can save money and, most importantly, protect the health of your staff. You have two options for safely mastering the maintenance exercise.
Opt for outsourcing
What is the greatest advantage to start with? External specialists are trained and strongly familiar with the relevant field. If your machine tool needs to be cleaned, they know exactly what to do. However, even these professionals first need to get acquainted with the operations in your company.
Before entering the premises, they must be informed about the safety rules and the use of personal protective equipment - this training must be provided by a competent person from your company. As part of the training, they should receive operational information on:
- where they should connect the tools,
- where they are allowed to go,
- any and all risks related to the workplace.
During this training, we always recommend anticipation - explain the exact desired behaviour in case of an emergency that might occur - as regards fire, for instance, inform them about emergency exits; in case of an injury, specify the correct procedure (where the closest first-aid kit is located and whether there is an in-house medical assistant).
Prepare the training for external specialist in advance in writing and have them sign the paper. Better to be safe than sorry.
The maintenance will be carried out by your staff
Compile all documents related to the machinery to be serviced - manuals, certificates of warranty, service cards, etc. Subsequently make sure that you are really able to start the servicing on your own account. If this is the case, always follow the Instruction for use. Before you start, put together a list of all activities.
Why? Because of risk analysis. Since the maintenance will not be carried out by specialists, there are real risks. It is of utmost importance that you are aware of them in advance.
Imagine, for instance, that you are about to start servicing a die stamping machine. The cover of the machine is located at the height of approximately two metres - you need either scaffolding or safety harness with security lock to avoid the risk of falling.
Furthermore, what are you going to use to clean the machine? Do you have suitable cleaning agents and are you able to find the relevant information in the safety data list? Some substances can be hazardous for life. The safety data list usually provides first aid instructions - read it carefully.
If you are not sure, it might be better to call a professional. Our specialized PPE specialists will conduct a risk analysis directly in your company and recommend appropriate personal protective equipment and other important accessories.
And if you decide to do the job it yourself, follow the "stop-think-act" rule. Namely because the consequences of ill-judged actions in maintenance are typically disastrous.