Ensuring safety during maintenance operations
Maintenance is placed under a precise regulatory and legislative framework to address inherent risks. Let’s see how CMMS help make maintenance safe.
Maintenance: an inherently risky activity
Maintenance works must be considered hazardous by nature, even more so when they are corrective. Moreover, maintenance technicians sometimes neglect their safety when dealing with dysfunctional assets.
Risk figures in maintenance
According to the Association of Maintenance Engineers and Managers, the current state of affairs regarding maintenance agents’ health and safety is worrying. The information collected and analyzed shows that:
Maintenance agents are three times more prone to severe accidents than the national average
They are also six times more prone to illnesses than the national average
Mortality rates are eight times higher than the national average
Maintenance: what are the risk factors?
In general, risk in maintenance stems from one of the following groups:
The environment of the maintenance site
which covers the equipment, infrastructure, used or stored products, and the energy used
The maintenance activity itself
in terms of the specific tools used
The unique conditions of the maintenance operation
such as emergency maintenance, nocturnal maintenance during an on-call period, maintenance in cold, hot, humid, or very cramped places, at high altitudes, etc
In particular, many accidents are caused by issues related to energy.
The earlier the risks are identified, the safer the technician’s maintenance procedures are. Awareness of the risk is the best protection against maintenance accidents.
The causes behind safety defects in maintenance are well-known:
Organizational and behavioral constraints may also interfere with the safety of maintenance activities.
How to safely prepare for a maintenance work?
Preventive and corrective maintenance operations do not require the same preparations:
Improving the safety of preventive maintenance
To lower the risks as much as possible, ALL the protective equipment required to ensure the technician’s safety for a maintenance job must first be set up.
Since the maintenance task is scheduled, all precautions should be taken for the team’s safety, and safety protocols must be followed to the letter. A CMMS will help you better organize yourself for this type of maintenance.
Improving the safety of corrective maintenance
In the event of a maintenance emergency, a thorough analysis of the potential risks must be carried out first.
The maintenance manager and the technicians then have to define safety points to follow and record them into the CMMS. The goal is to restore the asset to working order without any human incident.
Corrective maintenance is inherently more dangerous than preventive maintenance. Therefore, gradually reducing the proportion of corrective jobs in favor of preventive ones, as our CMMS solution is designed to do, will lower asset breakdown rates and further improve personnel safety.
How to prevent risks in maintenance
Safety must be the guiding principle of every maintenance operation. From the preparation to the completion of the maintenance task, the technician and his manager must know precisely how to make the procedure safe and prevent accidents.
Concretely, there are a few methods to do so:
Ensuring the availability of safety information
It is in the best interest of the maintenance manager and the technician to make available near every asset a body of documents covering safety protocols.
Both general and asset-specific maintenance procedures should be included, as well as information on the required preparatory work.
The regulatory framework for maintenance
The employer must ensure the safety of the maintenance personnel and other employees.
The Labor Code is very clear on this subject and lists the various existing regulations on maintenance concerns such as:
How do CMMS improve the safety of maintenance?
Adopting a CMMS solution will allow maintenance technicians, field agents, and external contributors to significantly improve risk management and safety during maintenance works.
Harmonizing maintenance practices
There are many benefits in reorganizing your maintenance tool, including qualification of your assets, better asset reliability, and lower costs.
By implementing standardized work processes (e.g., checklists), you ensure that each field agent performs the same actions on each job with the same quality.
The use of a CMMS standardizes maintenance work and procedures. Everyone thus applies best practices while optimal safety is guaranteed.
To structure your operations, the DIMO Maint CMMS promotes the use of maintenance task-lists in the form of checklists detailing all the tasks that need to be performed in a precise order. The dematerialization of work order management processes reduces risks as well.
CMMS help with compliance
In many sectors, maintenance is structured around compliance audits.
A CMMS can help you with many aspects of compliance, including:
- machines’ maintenance log
- periodic regulatory control
- quality or safety certifications renewal, by quickly providing all the evidence of asset maintenance (IFS, BRC, FDA regulations, etc.)
The CMMS allows us to meet the traceability requirements imposed by the IFS/BRC certification.
We had no complaints, during our 3-day audit, regarding maintenance, and when we carried out a traceability test over a specific date, I was able to pull up all the relevant work and cleaning orders in just a few clicks!
This CMMS has proven to be an invaluable time-saver!
Romain Bernard, Maintenance Team Manager, EURIAL
CMMS help set up a preventive maintenance plan
Preventive maintenance aims to reduce the probability of failure or degradation of a tool or an installation. It allows for the anticipation of maintenance works and to avoid relying on corrective maintenance, which is more accident-prone.
Thanks to the CMMS, these maintenance actions are triggered automatically at a defined frequency or according to determined criteria, usually measured in tons, m³, number of operational hours, etc.).
CMMS helps you set up better communication
Communication is the backbone of all maintenance organizations. Poor communication hurts the day-to-day management of the department.
A well-implemented and well-adopted DIMO Maint CMMS will push your communication to the next level.
Your manager will know immediately which technician to entrust a maintenance work with, according to their accreditations, licenses to operate specific assets, and special skills.
The DIMO Maint CMMS provides a centralized knowledge of assets, with fault tree analyses derived from the systematic feedback of your agents available to everyone.