Be Proactive, not Reactive

Maintenance of Machinery

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, over the last 8 weeks many of our sites have either reduced production or stopped completely. In some instances, this will mean that machinery will have been inactive for the entire 8 weeks.

All machines must be maintained properly so they remain fit for purpose and records should be kept of this maintenance. In 2015 we developed a range of maintenance log books for the commonly used machines for contractors to use if they didn’t have their own system of record keeping. These are still available from your FWM in either hard copy or electronic format. The maintenance records must be maintained.

Where a machine has been standing inactive for long periods then a full maintenance check should be completed prior to work commencing. A good starting point is a visual inspection for any obvious external deterioration and also to ensure all equipment parts such as guarding are in good condition. The vehicle/plant/equipment should also be closely inspected for evidence of vandalism such as fuel theft, tampering etc.

As machinery may have been standing for some time, check partially enclosed areas for wildlife activity i.e. bird nesting, this could be under wheel arches etc. If you do discover an active bird’s nest then you must inform the FWM immediately as you may be breaking the law if you remove it. (Also applies to log stacks).

A recent example of a bird taking advantage of an unused machine was highlighted recently on a Severn Trent Water construction site. A Pied Wagtail nested in part of a crane causing the crane to be taken out of action and a replacement brought to site.

By carrying out maintenance on a proactive, rather than a reactive, basis, you can decrease equipment downtime, reduce the number of major repairs and increase your equipment’s life cycle.


PUWER requires:

  • Machinery to be suitable for the task it is
  • Machinery to be maintained in a safe working
  • Machinery to be regularly inspected to check for
  • Operators to be trained and
  • Dangerous parts to be suitably guarded (e.g. PTO on a tractor).
  • Have suitable control systems, including emergency stops, that are clearly
  • Mobile work equipment have Operator Protection systems (OPS, FOPs and ROPs) suitable for the