Regular machine checks in the construction industry
Steve Ellis Managing Director at FPE Seals explores the Importance of regular machine checks for managing costs and human welfare in the construction industry
This article will investigate the importance of regular machine checks that the construction sector should implement that will not only reduce costs and machine downtime, but also improve safety within the work environment and reduce accidents.
What is the purpose of an inspection?
In construction, any machinery breakdown or failure can result in enforced and unplanned downtime, causing financial loss to both the company and the project and lower rates of productivity. Additionally, a machine or equipment failure can result in an injury in the workplace, or worse. Therefore, it is important for the welfare of the workforce that regular equipment checks are carried out.
Machine inspections can be used to spot any faults before they become a problem that will have knock-on effects across the site or organisation. As part of inspections, companies can implement strategies such as preventative maintenance. This is something that can keep on top of equipment and essentially fix a problem before it rears its head.
By regularly scheduling appointments to check the status of machinery, an organisation has a greater chance of spotting any faults or defects. These can then be actioned, and a smaller repair or replacement can be carried out to reduce the potential impact on the site.
Andrew Powles, Managing Director at engineering equipment supplier FPE Seals, said: “Maintaining the condition of machinery and equipment is of huge significance to a business. Seemingly small components of a machine, such as seals and piston rings, are very important for keeping equipment in good, working order. Regularly inspecting and replacing any worn parts can go a long way to keeping production efficient and your workforce safe.”
Improved welfare of the workforce
It seems quite simple but reducing the chances of machinery failing also helps keep your workforce safe. The construction injury by its nature is a dangerous one, in fact in 2021 it was the industry that experienced the most workplace deaths.
It is not possible to prevent every single accident in the workplace, but with the correct measures in place, many incidents can be removed or significantly reduced. One of the things that can impact this is the regular inspection and maintenance of equipment and machinery.
A staff member injured because of a fault is not only damaging for staff morale, it has further implications. Not only has the machine failed, meaning it is out of service, the member of the team has been left injured and possibly unable to work. That leaves you experiencing downtime and also unable to distribute the worker anywhere else in the team.
Reduces your liability
As mentioned, a breakdown or a defect can result in a workplace injury, which could leave your business susceptible to possible legal action from the injured party. This can have a significant impact on the business, both financially and regarding the reputation of the brand.
If there is an investigation, and it is found that you allowed operators to use unsafe or poorly maintained equipment, there could be severe consequences for the business. This relates to regular checks, as you should be documenting and dating each piece of maintenance or repair.
This way, you can show that steps were taken to avoid failure, and the blame lies with the machine itself rather than carelessness or neglect on behalf of the employer. Should you be unable to prove or date a repair, you leave the businesses open to liability for the accident.
Results in less downtime
The more time that machinery is in working order, the more it can produce; that is a fairly simple concept. Regular checks and as mentioned, preventative maintenance, can help keep machines in working order for longer. Checking integral components, lubricating, cleaning and testing internal parts can all result in a significant reduction in the risk of unplanned downtime.
A reduction in downtime has many benefits, as out-of-order machines can have major implications on production. Not only is there the cost of paying your workforce when they are unable to work, there is also the issue of being unable to supply orders or keep up with demand. Not having enough output due to downtime can have severe financial consequences.