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Maintenance and Inspection

  • 27 March 2017 - 16:32

    This month I want to give you a few things to think about on one of the basic health and safety topics, maintenance and inspection. When I go on site I see an enormous variation in standards of plant and equipment.

    On processing plants spillage can be a huge issue and is often just left.. Why is that?? It helps no-one, you lose saleable product, it causes trip and slip issues, manual handling becomes an issue when you have to clear it up.

    Having a good process for inspecting and maintaining plant and equipment is a fundamental health and safety process but it is also good business sense.

    Inside machine cabs I often find spare parts, oily rags and dust, who really wants to work like that and what will that spare part do if the machine cab turns over?? It could kill.

    Get a good process in place for inspecting and maintaining plant and stick to it. Train your employees in what to look for and challenge their findings.

    Here are a number of things to consider when looking at this:


    A site manager should ensure:

    • A scheme of site inspection is developed identifying: the items to be inspected; who will undertake them; how often; how the inspection will be undertaken; how the results will be recorded; and the post inspections responsibilities of all involved.
    • All areas of the site and the plant and equipment contained within it, are inspected regularly by competent persons;
    • Employees and contractors are trained and authorised to complete inspections;
    • The inspection forms are site and plant specific;
    • Do the forms make it clear what faults should mean plant is stopped or vehicles parked up?
    • Completed inspection forms are reviewed and action plans maintained to correct identified defects;
    • Regular inspections are carried out by the site safety representatives or the safety committee;
    • Managers do spot inspections and compare the results to those shown on the inspection sheets.
    • Regular structural inspections are undertaken for all plant potentially subject to deterioration from mechanical or corrosive damage;
    • The frequency of inspections is determined by a risk assessment.



    • All plant, equipment and workplaces are maintained to a standard that ensures the health and safety of any person is not adversely affected;
    • Accurate maintenance records are held for each item of plant and equipment;
    • Appropriate schedules of maintenance and inspection are maintained for all items of equipment and workplaces;
    • The workplace is maintained in a clean and tidy condition;
    • All welfare facilities are maintained in a hygienic condition;
    • All Personal Protective Equipment is stored and maintained as required.

    Record keeping
    Set up a good system for holding the records. One of the best I have seen had a folder that was divided down into each item of plant. On the dividing sheet there was a sheet that had relevant information for example:

    • Conveyor: Bearing sizes, shaft sizes, gearbox and motor details, belt width and length.
    • Dumper: Tyre sizes, filter numbers, chassis number, oil types

    Having this info readily available makes it easier when that breakdown occurs. If you need any templates then please drop me a line at [email protected] or call 07799 656303.

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