Preventive Maintenance & Repair
In Kellerman Consulting’s video series on preventive maintenance and repair in safety and quality programs, we are going to identify the differences between preventing equipment breakdown and addressing breakdown when it occurs within an operational program.
Included in this series is how to schedule preventive maintenance, how to check on the status of the program, and what to do when scheduled repairs cannot be performed according to the schedule. We are also going to look at proper documentation and sanitation activities for repairs.
Throughout these episodes, we emphasize where maintenance can be part of continuous improvement to operations, in addition to where it is used to correct a failure or breakdown, and how they fit into a larger program that emphasizes a culture of safety and quality.
The actions required to get equipment into working order, and to keep it in working order have to be understood in two ways. First are the documented actions we take to prevent breakdown, which we shall refer to as preventive maintenance.
When maintenance issues occur that you cannot plan for, also known as, “unplanned breakdown”, a separate type of documentation is required for the actions taken to return equipment to conformance and proper function. This shall be referred to as “repairs”.
The most important regulations around maintenance are Occupational Safety, which are enforced by OSHA. For facilities operating safety and quality programs, the manner and methods used in a facility to perform maintenance and repair must meet worker safety standards.
Beyond worker safety requirements, safety and quality programs are fairly vague on what is required when maintenance is performed. Since each facility is different, each piece of equipment within the facility is different, and the way each facility handles maintenance is different, maintenance requirements will vary from operation to operation.
Equipment manufactures may have maintenance suggestions or requirements as part of warranty arrangements, and those would fall within the safety and quality program.
As a result, except for the worker safety requirements, there really are few specific requirements.Some examples of food safety requirements for maintenance repairs include using food grade greases or oils on equipment, not having any temporary repairs using wood or other material that is not easily cleanable, and making sure tools are cleaned before using on equipment.
An important rule to remember is, food facilities must use food grade chemicals on equipment within processing areas, , and those food grade chemicals cannot be stored with or under non food grade chemicals.
Lastly, maintenance must prevent risks to operations and products, and maintenance areas must be effectively cleaned before and after the work is performed. This cleaning must be documented as part of the facility maintenance program.
We can start from the premise that all facilities must engage in repair, since all equipment in operations will eventually break down from regular use. Conversely, whether a facility also engages in preventive maintenance to prevent breakdown is usually a function of the resources and knowledge available within the facility.
Where preventive maintenance is performed in a functioning safety and quality management system, it is scheduled and a record of the preventive maintenance is included with each task. These records may be a list of preventive maintenance actions on a form or spreadsheet, or a more elaborate computer program to keep track of tasks. A dedicated maintenance area is not a requirement in a quality and safety management program, but it is common.
While it is not necessary to distinguish between preventive and reactive maintenance and repair, the requirements for preventive maintenance as well as the requirements for repair in a safety and quality system are the same in regards to documentation of who performed it, who checked that it was performed correctly, a record of if cleaning was needed following repairs, as well as any follow-up checks.
It is imperative that activities such as chemical control, lock-out/tag-out and controlled disposal are performed each time maintenance and repair is performed, and all actions are performed under the supervision of knowledgeable and trained employees or contractors.
In our next episode of the Preventive Maintenance and Repair series, we’ll review how to apply the program for all new equipment, and how to properly monitor activities and maintenance actions for equipment upon arrival and installation.
Thank you for watching. For free downloads to accompany this video series, visit the free training videos & resources page of our website.