Using a Risk Assessment Matrix to Improve Maintenance
Plant maintenance needs to be done in a calculated manner. With the scarce resources that businesses are restricted to using during maintenance, it is essential to ensure that every resource is optimized. Ideally, embracing a risk-based approach to plant maintenance is among the best ways to improve the performance of your plant.
With risk-based maintenance, the frequency and type of maintenance can be picked based on the risk of failure of specific equipment. If an asset has a high risk of failure, it should be monitored and maintained more frequently. For assets with a lower risk of failure, subjecting them to less stringent monitoring and maintenance programs is wise. Risk-based maintenance ensures that you can use the most economical way to minimize the risk of failure across your entire facility.
Here is how to use risk-based maintenance:
Start With Data Collection
Before proceeding with risk-based maintenance, you need to create a list of the risks that might affect the different parts of your plant. This list should include information about the consequences of the risks happening. For instance, if a particular machine fails, you might have to undergo a downtime of three hours.
The list should also include detail on the triggers of such risks, as well as how to identify these risks. Ideally, with a well-outlined list, it becomes easy to predict the chances that a threat will occur and identify common mitigation options.
Risk Evaluation And Ranking
Next, you will need to identify the probability that a risk will occur, as well as the impact that it will have on the performance of your facility. Both the effect and the likelihood need to be quantified to give you a bird’s-eye view of your risk landscape. Furthermore, both figures will be required when it comes to forming the risk assessment matrix .
You can then consider the risk as acceptable or unacceptable. For unacceptable risks, looking for ways to mitigate them is essential. In the case of maintenance, you also need to formulate an inspection plan to keep an eye on such risks.
Propose Mitigation Measures
There are four ways to deal with maintenance risks. You can avoid them, transfer them, and work on how to reduce them in-house, or completely ignore them. If a maintenance risk is too significant to deal with in-house, but it affects an essential part of the production, the best option is to transfer it to another party. This can be a business or individual that can help with maintenance needs.
For risks that are too huge for you to handle, even after outsourcing them, it might be ideal to avoid them. This includes letting go of anything that can lead to this risk. In case a risk can be handled by your in-house staff, work on ways to do so. Lastly, risks whose impact and/or probability is trivial should be ignored.
Create An Inspection Plan
Once you have an idea of the mitigation path to take, proceed to make an inspection plan. Risks that have a high occurrence chance should be monitored often. For some risks, however, preventative maintenance will be essential to dealing with them.
The inspection plan should also include details on the person in charge of monitoring the risk . This creates the perfect atmosphere for building a culture of accountability in your workforce. Ideally, those in charge of the risk should key in any inspection they have done in a specific document to create a paper trail for the inspection.
Reassess The Inspection Plan
Risk landscapes are bound to change from time to time. The maintenance risk you are dealing with today might not be the same risk you get to deal with tomorrow. For instance, you might change the machinery you use or use the facility to produce a completely different product. In other cases, external factors such as the change of regulation can warrant a separate risk management approach.
When such changes happen, you need to update your risk management plan for the facility. Commit to constant evaluation of your existing plan, and identify any new loopholes that may exist. You can also use this period to determine whether the previous plans you had chosen were effective enough in optimizing the use of resources in facility maintenance.
The Power Of Record Keeping
Leaving a document trail of your risk management decisions is essential for your entire risk posture. First, the trail ensures continuity in your risk management plans even after the person in charge changes roles in the business, is fired, or gets sick.
Second, document trails make auditing easy . Instead of the auditor having to collect data on their own, you can present them with evidence of your maintenance plans. Other than reducing the time audits take, it also reduces their cost.
Lastly, document trails help to identify issues quickly. In case a piece of equipment fails, it will be quite easy to know who is at fault, not to mention, identify ways of preventing this from happening in the future.
Ample facility maintenance is necessary to reduce the costs of running a facility and the chances of injuries happening. By taking a risk-based approach to maintenance, your business can have more control over your risk landscape. Consider embracing this approach to improve the overall productivity of your business.
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