Facilities should be inspected and equipment maintained and protected before a breakdown or other problems occur.
Understand your responsibilities for keeping work equipment in good working order, how often you need to maintain it and where you can keep a record.
You need to carry out maintenance to ensure the workplace structure, equipment, machinery, fixtures and fittings and facilities are in good working order.
Inadequate maintenance can lead to dangerous situations, accidents and health problems.
It includes many tasks such as
There are two main types of maintenance work.
Is planned and includes scheduled inspections, repairs and replacement to make sure everything continues to work.
Is needed when things go wrong or breakdowns occur. This demands reactive, unplanned action to be taken to get things up and running again.
These are some of the principal pieces of legislation relating to maintenance of equipment.
Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 outlines the general responsibilities for employers to maintain a safe place of work, safe systems of work and safe work equipment.
Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 state that employers must maintain their workplace and equipment in an efficient state, good working order and in good repair.
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 explain that employers must ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 require that all lifting equipment is fit for purpose, suitable for the task, appropriately marked and for many items a ‘thorough examination’ is undertaken periodically.
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to do a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. This applies to maintenance work and must be carried out before maintenance work is undertaken, even when it is reactive and production demands require a fast response.
For information on workplace health, safety and wellbeing, contact your local health board team