Preventive Maintenance Programs

Why is a preventive maintenance program (PMP) necessary? The simplest answer is to prolong the life of vehicles, machinery, and equipment while maintaining their safe operation during that period.

A PMP depends heavily on an inspection form or checklist to assure that a vehicle, machinery, or equipment inspection procedure has been fully accomplished and its completion documented. It has long been noted that a PMP has benefits that extend beyond caring for equipment, vehicles, and machinery. Of course, equipment is expensive and, if cared for properly and regularly, will last a lot longer, cost less to operate, operate more efficiently, and have fewer catastrophic failures.

Remember, properly maintained equipment is also safer, and there is a decreased risk of accidents occurring. The degree of pride in having safe operating equipment will transfer to the workers in the form of better morale and respect for the equipment. Well-maintained equipment sends a strong message regarding safe operation of equipment.

Other factors that provide legitimate reasons to have a PMP are as follows:

  • • Reduced cost by not having to bear the cost of untimely replacement.
  • • Maintenance records support and document warrantee issues.
  • • Provide records if liability issues arise.
  • • Provide due diligence to demonstrate Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance.
  • • PMP records become a component of evidence in case an unforeseen event transpires.
  • • Creates confidence that any vehicle, machinery, or equipment can be used safely in performing work-related tasks.
  • • PMPs indicate that the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations and scheduled maintenance have been completed.

If operators are allowed to use equipment, machinery, or vehicles that are unsafe or in poor operating condition, a negative message is sent that says, "I don't value my equipment, machinery, or vehicles, and I don't value my workforce either." A structured PMP will definitely foster a much more positive approach regarding property and the workforce. Reasons for a PMP are as follows:

  • 1. Improve operating efficiency of equipment, machinery, or vehicles
  • 2. Improve attitudes toward safety by maintaining good/safe operating equipment
  • 3. Foster involvement of not only maintenance personnel but also supervisors and operators, which forces everyone to have a degree of ownership
  • 4. Decrease risk for incidents or mishaps

When a problem with any vehicle, machinery, or equipment exists or arises, it should be addressed immediately to preclude further damage or exacerbation of the problem. This is why:

  • • The first aspect of a PMP is to have a schedule for regular maintenance of all your equipment.
  • • Second, it motivates supervisors to make certain all operators are conducting daily inspections.
  • • Third, it assures the company that all defects are reported immediately.
  • • Last, it documents that repairs are made prior to operating vehicles or equipment.

If this is impossible, the equipment should be tagged and removed from service.

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