We’ve already explained how to carry out risk assessments in maintenance in 5 simple steps. However, inspecting every single asset that you have may not be something that appeals to you, and with good reason. This is exactly why we want to give you some extra motivation — there’s more to risk assessment than you might think! Here 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 your various inspections, you should gather the following details about each piece of equipment: its location, its current state/category, its year of construction, a history of its failures and info about any 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 assessments, every equipment and asset of a company is inspected. They are then sorted into categories, from A to D, according to their current state. You should focus on the assets that fall into category B or C. These pieces of equipment will most benefit from the right maintenance. Learn more about this category system in our article on how to perform a risk assessment in maintenance.
3. The risk associated with each piece of equipment
Not all pieces of equipment were created equally. Some are easy and simple to replace, whilst others represent a huge investment. The most important thing is to assess 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 in its air-conditioning units. While a problem in the kitchen can be solved by a simple change to the menu, a problem with the heating will have a more direct impact on making customers unhappy.
Equally, a lack of maintenance in air-conditioning may even present a public health risk. While you carry out a risk assessment, each equipment should be categorised both according to the likeliness of it failing and by the potential consequences of such a failure.
4. Which equipment to prioritise in your 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, it would come with enormous additional labour costs. This is why maintenance managers must define priorities on their plans.
Risk assessment allows you to categorise your equipment and is an excellent indicator on which items you should really prioritise. First, you need to carry out preventive maintenance on pieces of equipment that pose a significant safety risk upon failure. Then, you should focus on equipment that is essential for your business (e.g. heaters as they 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.