What is emergency maintenance?
Emergency maintenance is a type of maintenance that is needed when an asset experiences an unexpected malfunction that can cause considerable health and safety problems or big production delays. The problem has to be addressed as soon as possible, hence the “emergency”.
The major challenge though is that “repaired quickly” is rarely ever as simple as it sounds. These are often major breakdowns that require coordination between multiple team members. As such, emergency repairs pose serious operational headaches for maintenance managers.
In worst-case scenarios, these situations require an all-hands-on-deck approach where every other maintenance task is suspended until the emergency is resolved.
Emergency maintenance examples
Examples of emergency maintenance in property maintenance
The kinds of emergencies expected in a residential or hospitality building will usually include:
- Fire outbreak
- Leaking roof
- Electrical malfunction that’s causing power surges
- Major flooding
- Elevator breakdown
- No water supply in the house/floor
Examples of emergency maintenance in the industrial setting
In the industrial setting, emergency maintenance is required to avert potential disasters that arise as a result of failed control measures or failed assets in industrial companies. Unfortunately, whether they happen by accident or due to negligence or incompetence, industrial emergencies can result in great damage, injury, and even loss of life. Some examples are:
- Fire outbreak
- (Poisonous) gas leak
- Unexpected failure of electrical power generator
- Steam boiler explosion
- Failure of a critical asset that brings the whole production to a halt
How to minimize the number of emergency maintenance requests
Situations that give rise to emergency maintenance can never be completely eliminated, but there are ways to significantly reduce their frequency and mitigate some of the associated risks.
The most effective way to reduce the number of emergency maintenance requests is to have a solid proactive maintenance strategy that will catch and address emerging issues before they escalate into major emergencies.
There are many proactive maintenance strategies you can employ:
- Preventive maintenance
- Condition-based maintenance (CBM)
- Predictive maintenance (PdM)
- Total productive maintenance (TPM)
Combining any of these strategies with a good CMMS software will enable you to have complete control over your maintenance operations, as well as speed up the response when an emergency maintenance situation does eventually happen. If you don’t know what a CMMS is check out our What is a CMMS System and How Does it Work guide.
Other ways to reduce the occurrence of emergency maintenance situations include:
- Having properly trained technicians performing quality work
- Having properly trained machine operators and other employees that come in contact with dangerous and/or critical assets
- Defining clear operating procedures and maintenance checklists technicians can follow
- Using equipment/tools/machines as recommended in their respective manuals
- Using replacement parts from the original manufacturer
Emergency maintenance is an unavoidable challenge that can severely disrupt operations in both residential and industrial settings. To mitigate its impact, a proactive approach involving strategies like preventive, condition-based, and predictive maintenance is crucial.
Utilizing a robust CMMS system like Limble CMMS and ensuring proper training and adherence to protocols can further reduce the frequency and severity of these emergencies, allowing for more efficient resource allocation and less operational disruption.