We’ve already explained how to carry out a risk assessment in maintenance in only 5 simple steps. Still, it’s possible that inspecting every single equipment that you’re responsible for doesn’t sound like the best of plans. Which is exactly why we want to give you some extra motivation — because there’s more to risk assessment than you might think, these are 4 things that you’ll learn after you perform one.
1. History of previous failures
A risk assessment begins with research. Before you jump into inspections, you should gather these details about each piece of equipment: where it’s located, its current state/category, year of construction, historical failure data and info about previous repairs. These facts alone might be enough to raise the first red flags! But nothing, of course, compares to an actual in loco inspection — which takes us to point number 2.
2. Current overall condition of each equipment
During risk assessment, every equipment and asset of the company is inspected. Then, they are sorted into categories, from A to D, according to their current state. It’s on the B and C categories that you should focus on because it’s in these pieces of equipment that the right maintenance can really make a difference. Learn more about this category system in our article on how to perform a risk assessment in maintenance.
3. The risk associated with each equipment
Not all pieces of equipment are created equal. Some are easy to replace, while others represent a huge investment. But the most important thing is the risk they represent. A failure in the kitchen of a hotel, for example, does not pose the same risk as a failure in its heating system or the lack of maintenance in its air-conditioning units. While a problem in the kitchen may be solved with a simple change to the menu, a hotel without heating will have no happy customers.
On the other hand, the lack of maintenance in the air-conditioning may present a public health risk. While you carry out a risk assessment, each equipment will be categorized according to not only to the likeliness of it failing but also the potential consequences of such a failure.
4. Which equipments to prioritize in maintenance plans
It’s impossible (and pointless) to pay the same amount of attention to all your assets — even if you had a technician for each one, that would come with enormous labor costs. This is why maintenance managers must define priorities on their plans.
Risk assessment, because it allows you to categorize each equipment, is an excellent indicator about which ones you should really prioritize. First, you need to carry out preventive maintenance on pieces of equipment that pose a safety risk upon failure. Then, you should focus on equipment that is essential for your business (e.g. heaters, that ensure your customers are comfortable). Pay special attention to those in the B/C categories, because proper maintenance care might prevent bigger damages and avoid a transition into the C category.