Introduction to this document

Machinery maintenance

Maintaining machinery can be a hazardous activity. For example, contact could be made from moving parts as safety guards may have been removed. Left unmanaged, this could cause accidents and potentially put you on the wrong side of the law. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you should complete a risk assessment for regular maintenance tasks which identifies all “significant” hazards and appropriate “reasonable” ways of reducing risks to an acceptable level.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards associated with machinery maintenance and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Machinery Maintenance. It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level. For specific hazards concerning a particular machine we have also provided a blank section for you to complete if necessary.

Make your instructions clear

Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow are decided upon the principle of “so far as is reasonably practicable”. Note 1. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found when carrying out maintenance activities on your machinery. Note 2. This risk assessment only deals with generic maintenance activities. Where other in-depth maintenance activities occur then this assessment should be extended to deal with the more serious risks involved. In some instances a permit-to-work system may also be needed.