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Types of Maintenance

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What are the types of maintenance?

Pre Planned Maintenance (PPM) can be defined as an equipment maintenance strategy based on assessing its operational performance & function testing at fixed intervals regardless of its condition.

Scheduled operational cycle reporting are examples of preventive maintenance tasks as highlighted below which form part of our equipment specific checklists:

Operational safety inspection          Electrical inspection                Mechanical inspection       

         Hydraulic inspection                Equipment function test          Asset condition assessment

Preventative Maintenance – carried out before a breakdown or failure of equipment occurs – operational inspection checklists can identify areas such as:

  • Fault-finding
  • H&S risks
  • Condition reporting – grading of equipment due based on usage and/or application

Remedial Maintenance – carried out after a breakdown or failure of equipment occurs & can be identified as:

  • Deferred – source of breakdown or failure identified with equipment made operational but root cause not addressed due to downtime affecting core business activity and/or cost due to budgetary constraints.
  • Emergency/H&S Related – usually occurs due to a H&S event or a catastrophic failure of the equipment that causes major impact on the core business activity which invariably has unforeseen cost issues.

When carrying out preventive maintenance we are performing a task before a failure has occurred. That task can be aimed at preventing a failure, minimising the consequence of the failure or assessing the risk of the failure occurring.

When we are conducting remedial maintenance the failure has now occurred and we are basically reinstating equipment functionality.

EQUIPMENT – Servicing, Maintenance & Repair (SMR)

Somethings you may know or would like to know about SMR:

Risk Based Maintenance

Driven by the business core activity & the role that equipment plays in that core activity – non-performance of equipment that has a higher risk and a very high consequence of failure would be subject to more frequent maintenance and inspection.

Low risk equipment may be maintained at a much lower frequency and possibly with a much smaller scope of work.

Fault Finding Maintenance

Fault finding maintenance tasks are aimed at detecting hidden faults that can be detected by operational performance & function testing reported on inspection checklists.

It’s important to realise that fault finding maintenance tasks do not prevent failure but simply detect it - but once detected the cause of failure should be repaired.

Remedial Maintenance

Remedial maintenance strategy only restores the function of equipment after it has been allowed to fail. It is based on the assumption that the failure is acceptable. (i.e. no significant impact on safety or the environment) and preventing failure is either not economical or not possible.

When adopting remedial maintenance as a strategy it is essential to ensure that the failure modes under consideration do not have the potential to become Emergency/H&S related maintenance

Emergency/H&S Related Maintenance

Emergency maintenance is corrective maintenance that is so urgent that it can have a major impact on the core activity of your business as it can cause change of plans & schedules & can be costly.

Preventative maintenance can identify potential areas of remedial maintenance to minimise emergency maintenance particularly if H&S related.

What regulations place a duty on employers to maintain and inspect work equipment?


The duty to maintain work equipment (PUWER regulation 5) and take measures to manage the risks from maintenance (PUWER regulation 22) builds on the general duties of section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Which requires work equipment to be maintained so that it is safe, and work to be undertaken safely, so far as reasonably practicable.

Which law regulates the use of work equipment?


PUWER requires that equipment provided for use at work is: suitable for the intended use, safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and inspected to ensure it is correctly installed and does not subsequently deteriorate.

What you must do?


In order to ensure work equipment does not deteriorate to the extent that it may put people at risk, employers, the relevant self-employed and others in control of work equipment are required by PUWER to keep it ‘maintained in an efficient state, in efficient order and in good repair’. If you are self-employed and your work poses no risk to the health and safety of others, then health and safety law may not apply to you. HSE has guidance to help you understand if the law applies. Such effective maintenance can not only help in meeting PUWER requirements but can also serve other business objectives, such as improved productivity and reduced environmental impact.

The frequency and nature of maintenance should be determined through risk assessment, taking full account of:

  • the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • the intensity of use
  • operating environment (e.g. the effect of temperature, corrosion, weathering)
  • user knowledge and experience
  • the risk to health and safety from any foreseeable failure or malfunction

Safety-critical parts of work equipment may need a higher and more frequent level of attention than other aspects, which can be reflected within any maintenance programme. Breakdown maintenance, undertaken only after faults or failures have occurred, will not be suitable where significant risk will arise from the continued use of the work equipment.

Who can undertake maintenance of work equipment?


Maintenance work should only be undertaken by those who are competent to do the work, who have been provided with sufficient information, instruction and competence training (PUWER regulations 8 and 9). With high-risk or complex equipment, these demands may be significant and, in some cases, may be best undertaken by the manufacturer or specialist contractors.