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The safe maintenance health check

Get your workforce to score you out of ten - Is your workplace good enough?

Do our staff always isolate machines before doing maintenance?

If you aren't sure, you need to watch what happens in practice and speak to the staff concerned. For basic advice see isolation and permits to work.

Have all our maintenance staff got their own isolation padlocks and warning boards?

If you don't know, speak to the staff concerned.

Do we know if we've got asbestos in the building, and where it is?

Ask to see the relevant plans, drawings or reports. For a step by step guide to managing asbestos in buildings see HSE's Managing my asbestos web pages. Section 5 in particular deals with the inspection of buildings.

Do we use this asbestos information when we plan building maintenance jobs?

For a step by step guide to managing asbestos in buildings see HSE's Managing my asbestos web pages. Section 6 in particular deals with using the findings to plan maintenance work.

Are we thinking about what access equipment is right for the job, or just using whatever we have to hand?

Use the HSE WAIT Tool to find the right kind of access equipment for specific maintenance jobs.

Are we thinking through proper lifting plans before lifting heavy loads?

Substantial advice is contained in the 71 page LOLER Approved Code of Practice, but for basic advice see planning and supervising lifts and the temporary instability of heavy items.

Are any of us competent enough to take charge of non-standard lifting jobs?

Substantial advice is contained in the 71 page LOLER Approved Code of Practice, but for basic advice see planning and supervising lifts.

Do we use 'permits to work' properly when we need them?

If you aren't sure, you need to watch what happens in practice and speak to the staff concerned. For basic advice see isolation and permits to work. More detailed advice see HSE's Human Factors guidance on Permit to work systems.

Do we have any confined spaces?

For basic advice see isolation and permits to work.

Do our managers and supervisors stop maintenance work if it isn't being done safely?

This is the $64,000 question. You need to watch what happens in practice, speak to the staff concerned and make your expectations crystal clear.

Updated: 2013-02-20