Maintaining your maintenance system

So how is your maintenance program doing?

Over the years I have worked under/with/and developed various maintenance systems, everything from no system to fully developed years-established systems and everything in between. Does anyone remember a Lego/peg board in the planners' office to track the service of assets? Yup, it's been awhile.

I guess the question you need to ask is... Is your maintenance system effective?

When was the last time you audited your system, is it meeting your key point indicators? Is it cost-effective/Is it labor-effective in manpower requirements and skills training /is it effective in reducing unplanned work/ is it effective in reducing downtime/ is it compliant with the needs of your Regulators? Do you need to improve any of the above, all of the above, or none of the above?

I have had the privilege to have these discussions with quite a few people over the last few years as an instructor with Canada Training Group. It is kind of ironic, I have learned a lot from the workers I have been tasked with training. Every company/organization/ group or site has its way of maintaining its assets. Some with great success while others are truly feeling the challenge of their situation.

CSA Z463 is the Canadian standard for Maintenance of Electrical Systems its goal is to “improve safety of workers and protection of property through the adoption and systematic application of maintenance strategies for electrical equipment”

In talking with many of the students that I have had the opportunity to discuss maintenance and CSA Z463 it seems that there is an expectation that if they read this standard, it will give them a tailor-made maintenance plan. The truth is that this standard is simply a tool. Any tradesperson will tell you it is not simply the tools. It is the knowledge, skills and experience that allow us to use these tools effectively to build something and once it is built how to maintain it in good working order. In CSA Z463 we have a full toolbox to work with, like methods of asset management and assessment, maintenance strategies, when we need to be predictive and when best to be reactive, how to incorporate maintenance into new operations, and how to best plan for the end of life for equipment that is no longer viable. To name a few. CSA Z463 identifies a structure for roles and responsibilities within your organization from upper management to the worker on the floor.

It's a lot to take in. Like any tool we need to pick it up and start using it the more we utilize this tool the more effective it becomes and it becomes easier to use. And eventually, it gets to the point where we would not do a job without having this tool at hand.

Something for your consideration

In Safety