Safe Work – All plant and equipment (e.g., lift trucks, cars, gas appliances, machinery guarding, ladders, electrical equipment, lifting equipment, air receivers, ventilation plant) that requires maintenance (e.g., pre-shift checks, servicing, complete examinations) must be recognized and maintained.
- It may be beneficial to keep track of the maintenance checks in a logbook.
- Before purchasing new or used plant and equipment, be sure it complies with health and safety regulations.
- Plant and equipment maintenance is performed to prevent issues from emerging, to correct defects, and to guarantee that equipment is functioning properly.
- Maintenance may be part of a planned program or required on short notice in the event of a failure. It always entails out-of-the-ordinary behaviors that can expose individuals participating (as well as bystanders) to a variety of dangers.
Queries & Answers Related to Safe Work.
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Why Is Plant and Equipment Maintenance Important for Safe Work?
Plant and equipment will be more reliable if you have a good maintenance schedule in place. Fewer breakdowns mean less potentially hazardous contact with machinery, as well as cost savings from increased production and efficiency.
When machinery becomes unreliable and develops defects, more dangers can arise. Maintenance enables these flaws to be identified early on, allowing any dangers to be managed. Maintenance, on the other hand, must be properly planned and executed. Unsafe maintenance has resulted in several fatalities and major injuries, either during the maintenance process or to individuals who utilize the equipment that has been poorly maintained or repaired.
Work equipment and plant must be maintained in accordance with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) so that it stays safe and the maintenance operation is carried out safely.
What Am I Supposed to Do Now for Safe Work?
If you are an employer who provides equipment for employees to use, from hand tools and ladders to electrical power tools and larger plant, you must show that you have plans in place to ensure that they are kept in safe working order. Consider the following dangers:
- If tools break while in use
- Unexpectedly, equipment starts up.
- There is interaction with materials that are ordinarily enclosed within the machine, as a result of leakage, fracture, ejection, and other factors.
- Failure to properly plan and provide clear directions and information prior to beginning maintenance might result in misunderstanding and accidents. This is especially true if maintenance is performed during typical production hours or if there are contractors on site who are unfamiliar with the area.
- Before maintenance can begin, the plant and equipment must be made safe.
- Isolation that is safe
- Check that the moving plant has come to a halt and isolate electrical and other power sources. The majority of maintenance should be done with the power turned off. Cut the power off first if the job is near uninsulated overhead electrical cables, such as near overhead travelling cranes.
- If there’s a danger the electricity will be unintentionally turned back on, turn off the machines.
- Isolate pressurized fluid, gas, steam, or hazardous substance plants and pipelines. Isolating valves must be shut off.
Other Factors to Take into Account For Safe Work
- Release any stored energy that could cause the machine to move or cycle, such as compressed air or hydraulic pressure.
- Use blocks to support elements of the plant that could fall, such as the blades of down-stroking bale cutters and guillotines.
- Allow time for high-temperature components to cool down.
- Shift the mobile plant into neutral, apply the brakes, and lock the wheels.
- Clean and inspect vessels holding combustible materials, liquids, gases, or dusts before doing hot operations to avoid explosions. To do this safely, you may require professional assistance and advice.
- If at all possible, stay away from tanks and vessels. This is potentially dangerous work. If necessary, get professional assistance to ensure that proper measures are done.
- Before beginning work, clean and inspect any vessels containing dangerous compounds.
Plant and equipment maintenance DO and DONT’S
- Ascertain that maintenance is performed by a qualified individual (someone who has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to carry out the work safely).
- Regularly maintain plant and equipment – utilize the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions as a guide, especially if safety-critical elements are present.
- Establish a mechanism for employees to report broken or malfunctioning equipment.
- Give the maintenance person the tools he or she needs.
- When possible, schedule maintenance to reduce the danger to other workers and the repair person.
- Ensure that maintenance is carried out safely, that machinery and moving parts are isolated or locked, and that flammable, explosive, or toxic items are correctly handled.
- Ignore routine maintenance
- Ignore reports of faulty or dangerous equipment
- Make use of defective or broken equipment