Maintenance of Equipment

Building facilities/sites should be inspected and equipment maintained and protected before break down or other problems occur.

Detailed in the tabs below you will find specific information in place within your Board.

National Services Scotland

Building facilities/sites should be inspected and equipment maintained and protected before break down or other problems occur.

Line Managers, facilities and maintenance engineers need to understand their responsibilities for keeping work equipment in good working order, how often its required to do it and where the records are kept.

NSS need to carry out maintenance to ensure the workplace structures, equipment, machines, furniture and facilities are in good working order and operate properly and safely.  The lack of adequate maintenance can lead to dangerous situations, accidents and health problems.

It includes many tasks such as:-

 - repairing

 - replacing

 - servicing

 - inspecting

 - testing

There are two main types of maintenance work.

Routine or preventative maintenance

Is planned and includes scheduled inspections repairs and replacement to make sure everything continues to work.

Corrective maintenance

Is needed when things go wrong or breakdowns occur.  This demands a reactive, unplanned action to be taken to get things up and running again.

 

If you require additional information you can contact the NSS Health & Safety Advisors through HR Connect Contact Us / Health and Safety 

NHS 24

For information on Maintenance of Equipment within NHS 24 please see the Work Equipment Policy.

Public Health Scotland

Maintenance is required to be carried out to ensure the workplace structures, equipment, machines, furniture and facilities are in good working order and operate properly and safely. The lack of adequate maintenance can lead to dangerous situations, accidents and health problems. 

It includes many tasks such as 

  • repairing 
  • replacing 
  • servicing 
  • inspecting 
  • testing. 

There are two main types of maintenance work. 

  • Routine or preventative maintenance 

Is planned and includes scheduled inspections repairs and replacement to make sure everything continues to work. 

  • Corrective maintenance 

Is needed when things go wrong or breakdowns occur.?This demands a reactive, unplanned action to be taken to get things up and running again. 

If you require additional information you can contact the NSS Health & Safety Advisors through HR Connect Contact Us / Health and Safety.

Scottish Ambulance Service

To ensure the provision of safe work equipment for employees of the Scottish Ambulance Service by a structured selection process to ensure that such equipment conforms to standards laid down by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 or other relevant Regulations. This includes defining the process and safe system of work to be followed by staff using work equipment.

    • How do I plan the maintenance of work equipment?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

      Maintenance tasks should be planned and risk assessed. These tasks can be outside of routine tasks and may expose employees and others to hazardous situations.

      Line Managers and/or NSS Nominated Risk Assessors should carry out a risk assessment before carrying out the task and this should involve the employees who complete this process.

      Creating a list of premises, plant and equipment that need to be maintained (and how often) will help with the planning and risk assessing the work.

      There are many hazards associated with maintenance work. It’s important that you identify risks through the risk assessment process. These are some of the hazards that you might identify.

       - Working at height - the risk of falls or falling tools and equipment.

       - Gaining access to the equipment – such as work in confined spaces or harsh environments.

       - Electrical hazards – shocks and burns if not isolated.

       - Equipment – such as possible injuries from moving parts if not isolated.

       - Musculoskeletal disorders – due to exerting force or working in a cramped space.

       - Asbestos fibres, dust – as sometimes this is not identified and marked.

       - Hazardous substances - used in the machine being maintained or they are part of the maintenance process.

       - Noise - working on or using noisy equipment.

      Once the hazards have been identified, evaluate and estimate the risks, then decide if you are doing enough to manage risks to your employee's health and safety.

      Training to carry out maintenance safely

      Who is at risk

      Those who carry out maintenance work are especially at risk, but others can also be affected if they are working near the item or the area that is being maintained.

      Contractors brought in to carry out maintenance work can be particularly at risk as they may be unfamiliar with the workplace and procedures in place.

      When using contractors, you need to ensure that they have also completed a risk assessment of their tasks. Be sure that you communicate and coordinate with them to ensure that the maintenance tasks can be completed without risks.

      Training

      It is important that all employees involved in carrying out maintenance work and those who will be working around them are competent and have received. Line Managers need to ensure that those carrying out maintenance have the skills and experience to carry out the tasks.

      This includes NSS own employees and any contractors or specialists that are used to carry out the maintenance. It’s very important that they have been informed of any safe systems of work or safety procedure that needs to be followed.

      Safe systems of work

      You should use method statements and permit to work to ensure that high risk activities are planned and carried out following procedures.

      This will help identify

      - key roles and responsibilities

      - ways of communicating

      - key steps to follow

      - regular checks

      - monitoring procedures

      - emergency procedures.

      While carrying out the work the area needs to be secured by preventing unauthorised access, it’s important that you consider how to restrict access to the equipment and are being maintained.

      Line Managers / employees can attach warning cards to the machinery so people don’t use them, however, it’s very important that any machinery undergoing maintenance is isolated and locked off if there is a risk of the item being restarted before maintenance is complete.

    • How often should we be maintaining equipment?National Services Scotland, Public Health Scotland

      The equipment risk assessment will help Line Managers decide how often they need to ensure that the equipment needs to be maintained. This will depend on different elements such as the nature of the equipment, the environment where it’s used or how often. Manufacturers will also advise on how often their equipment needs to be used.

      Health and safety legislation and guidance will also determine how often equipment needs to be inspected. Regulations dealing with lifting equipment, local exhaust ventilation and pressure systems give explicit detail about their inspection regime.

      Lifting equipment 

      Thorough examinations and inspections of lifting equipment are explained in the Lifting operations and Lifting equipment regulations 1998. 

      Inspections should be carried out by a competent person with experience of the equipment, who is usually independent and is often an employee of an insurer. The risks associated with the failure of the equipment will determine the extent of the examination. The competent person who draws up the inspection schedule usually recommends how often it should be carried out.

      Equipment should receive an initial thorough examination, which is usually carried out by the manufacturer or supplier prior to supply. Subsequent thorough examinations should be carried out annually, except for equipment used to lift persons, which must be examined every six months.

      In addition, it is important that the person receiving inspection and maintenance reports from lift inspectors understands their contents and importance and that a clear procedure is in place to take equipment out of use immediately if this is required.

      Local exhaust ventilation 

      The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 explains that if you have introduced a local exhaust ventilation system to reduce the risks to exposure to hazardous substances. 

      The Board need to ensure that it’s maintained in good working order, in order to achieve this Line Managers, need to provide thorough examinations of the equipment. 

      Examination of the equipment should be carried out by a competent person at least every 14 months.

      Pressure systems 

      The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (external site) explains that a competent person needs to decide on the frequency and extent of the examinations of pressure systems. The written scheme of examination needs to be in place before the system is used.

      Record keeping 

      Line Managers / NSS Facilities Management should keep a record of the maintenance and inspections that have been carried out. This is very important and it will help you ensure that our Board are complying with legislation.