A complete preventive maintenance program is an integral part of any effective safety program, one more way to help identify potential hazards in the workplace.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance helps equipment last longer.

The goal of a preventive maintenance program should be to establish consistent practices that will:

» maintain and even improve the performance of your equipment, i.e., planned maintenance activities
» ensure your equipment is working properly, anticipating potential repairs, breakdowns or safety hazards, ultimately leading to a safe working environment for your employees

In addition, there are OSHA regulations you should incorporate into an effective preventive maintenance program, as appropriate:

» Inspection of fire extinguishers, 1910.157
» Materials handling and storage, including chains, ropes, slings, cranes and powered industrial trucks.
» Machines and machine guards, 1910 Subpart O

What other benefits will you get from a preventive maintenance program?

Preventive Maintenance Program

Preventive maintenance reduces downtime.

» Fewer major repairs and less equipment downtime means your employees remain productive.
» Longer life expectancy of your equipment reduces the need to replace equipment prematurely.
» Keeps your equipment running more efficiently meaning lower power costs.
» Reduces unplanned maintenance issues enabling maintenance teams to respond quicker to other problems.
» Reduces emergency repair calls that could take time to bring a crew in to make the repair.
» Reduces equipment downtime to locate replacement parts. A preventive maintenance program can help identify parts you may want to have on hand.
» Reduces late deliveries caused by downed equipment, which keeps your customers happy and profits in line.

And, of course, it means improved safety and quality conditions for everyone. It could even have an impact on your insurance rates since well-maintained equipment impacts the safety of your work environment.

With time and training you can switch your processes from being reactive to being proactive; anticipating and planning for these situations. And, over time, the program will pay for itself.

A worksite analysis should emphasize hazard assessments – recognition of any hazards – and then implementation of prevention and controls. Finding and fixing hazards takes a variety of methods, not just one.

“The term preventive maintenance commonly refers to the practice of regularly servicing equipment on a pre-determined schedule so that it does not develop catastrophic failures and performs better over its useful lifecycle.”


» Powered Industrial Trucks, OSHA standards, hazards and other resources
» Powered Industrial Trucks eTool, a resource for providing training under OSHA’s Powered Industrial Truck standard, focuses on those trucks commonly used in general industry.
» Materials Handling & Storage, 1910.176

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