In this article, we will highlight some of the advantages of preventative maintenance and will explain why regular servicing of loading systems can reduce the risk of unexpected breakdowns, make sound long-term financial sense and help you to comply with your obligations under relevant health and safety legislation.
As you may know, corrective maintenance is a maintenance task undertaken to find, isolate and correct a fault in a failed piece of equipment – for example a dock leveller – after a malfunction or accident has occurred.
In contrast, planned preventative maintenance involves the regular servicing and care of the equipment through inspection, detection and correction of potential failures before they happen or develop into major problems. This can include tests, adjustments and the replacement of parts in order to prevent a subsequent failure.
The value of preventative maintenance
When used together with predictive maintenance to make the scheduling of services easier and more convenient, a preventative maintenance plan can give you access to the right information at the right time, meaning that what might have caused unplanned breakdowns at an inconvenient time later, is instead dealt with during shorter, planned maintenance beforehand – increasing the availability of the equipment.
These planned stops can also increase the lifetime of the equipment, improve safety and reduce the need for any unplanned maintenance, thus reducing costs. A plan like this would also make it easier for you to budget for your maintenance costs as incidences of unpredictable maintenance would be fewer in number. A well-organised preventive maintenance programme depends on all parties involved working together, but this more than justifies the work and costs involved in implementing a preventative maintenance plan.
Let’s look into the benefits of this type of programme.
The main benefits of a well-organised preventative maintenance programme
A well-run preventative maintenance plan has many benefits which when taken together outweigh the costs of putting such a plan in place. For one, production capacity is improved and the number of repairs is reduced, thus efficiency and productivity both increase. In addition, the lifespan of your assets increases, precluding the need for premature replacement of equipment and machinery.
Costs are reduced over time because maintenance personnel are working to a pre-determined schedule, rather than on an emergency basis as and when equipment is in need of repair. Routine repairs completed in a timely manner also means that there is less demand for large-scale repairs, which are not required as often. Implementation of a preventative maintenance plan can also lead to a safer working environment and better conditions in the workplace. What is more, technicians can help prevent the degradation of assets.
A series of checks that are completed during regular servicing can be used to pre-empt problems and lessen the chance of equipment breakdown.
By having these tests carried out as part of your preventative maintenance programme, you gain the advantage of foreseeing potential problems, meaning parts or equipment can be replaced before a breakdown occurs – hence avoiding the unpredictable costs. This means you and your business will not be so heavily reliant on corrective, unplanned maintenance – and following a plan like this helps to ensure that you comply with health and safety regulations.
Preventative maintenance and LOLER safety regulations
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) set out your obligations in terms of safety when you own, have control over, or operate lifting equipment. The regulations require that all equipment is fit for purpose and subject to periodic examination, which must be recorded. Any faults must be reported to the relevant authority. Having a comprehensive preventative maintenance plan in place can help you meet these and other legal and safety requirements with ease.
Loading systems are also work equipment, so the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1988 (PUWER) will also apply in relation to inspection and maintenance. These regulations require you to ensure that all work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, is in efficient working order and in good repair. You must also ensure that health and safety conditions are maintained and that any deterioration can be detected and remedied in good time.
As well as the obvious benefits of keeping your loading systems running smoothly and ensuring the safety of your employees and visitors, an effective planned preventative maintenance programme can help you avoid the reputational damage and subsequent fines that can result from a prosecution under health and safety legislation. Fines for these type of offences doubled to £76m when new legislation brought unlimited fines into effect from March 2015.
So, we have discussed the numerous advantages of devising and implementing a well-organised programme of preventative maintenance – with particular emphasis on how this can aid in the smooth running of loading systems, reduce overall maintenance costs, increase the lifespan of equipment and help you to comply with your legal obligations under LOLER and PUWER.
Contact us now on email@example.com or call 0800 085 3211 to arrange a consultation with one of our representatives to establish a preventative maintenance programme for your loading systems equipment including:
- Dock Levellers
- Dock Shelters
- Roller Shutter Doors
- Sectional Doors
- Fire Shutter Doors
- High Speed Doors
- Scissor lifts
- Vehicle Barriers
More information about the loading systems products we can maintain