Are you planning to shut down your facility this summer? Use our checklist to help you plan the maintenance tasks that you might need to tackle.

Summer shutdowns—when facilities stop production during the warmer months to perform maintenance tasks or upgrades—take preparation and planning. In a facility with a variety of processes and pieces of equipment, it’s important to stay focused if all the necessary maintenance tasks are to be completed within the shutdown time frame.

Are you planning to shut down your facility for days or weeks this summer so you can tackle the tasks that are hard to take on when production is in full swing? Industrial facilities often use the summer months to perform preventive maintenance on facilities and equipment, says Onur Kartallioglu, a senior application development engineer at 3M.

“Summer shutdown can be an excellent time to perform maintenance operations without the added pressure of managing slowdown or shutdowns of the assembly line,” notes Kartallioglu on the 3M Science Centre blog. “You can use this time to tackle everything from a process overhaul to tiny touch-ups.”

Coal-fired electric-generating plants and nuclear power plants may shut down to refurbish operating equipment, notes the New Standard Institute Inc. in its “Shutdowns, Turnarounds, and Outages” training program. “Petrochemical and process plants must shut down from time to time to replace chemically corroded components and to rebuild rotating machinery,” the training program adds. “Government organizations sometimes mandate annual shutdowns to inspect boilers and pressure vessels. Some older facilities shut down to retrofit with new equipment such as pollution-control equipment or energy-saving components.”

In an article for Area Development, Jason Beck, former director of life sciences for Evergreen EDC, part of SSOE Group, says shutdowns are complex and have safety risks, but the payoff makes them worthwhile.

“As compared to other maintenance procedures, shutdowns are more unpredictable since there are many opportunities to discover or create problems involving expensive equipment and machinery,” Beck writes. “There is a positive side, however. Planned shutdowns are almost always undertaken because ultimately they are good for business. They lead to improvements in the performance of equipment and processes and enable product modifications. And they are an opportunity to reduce the energy, materials, safety hazards or waste associated with manufacturing.”

The work begins long before a shutdown takes place, Beck says: Shutdowns require planning, coordination among departments and procurement of needed parts and supplies.

Online resources may help. IDC Technologies offers a comprehensive preventive maintenance guide with its “Practical Shutdown and Turnaround Management for Engineers and Managers.” The guide has chapters on the scope of work to be addressed, pre-shutdown tasks, cost management, site logistics, safety plans and more. “There are several complexities involved with turnaround management in terms of technology, business and maintenance,” says the guide. “Turnaround result mainly depends on the participative efforts of the team and demand focused performance objectives.”

Though some work during a shutdown may be routine, other tasks may be unexpected, says the guide, such as when the extent of wear and tear on a machine isn’t realized until the equipment is opened for maintenance.

Every facility’s needs will be different. You should evaluate your facility and processes beforehand to know exactly what tasks will need to be completed during your shutdown. It may help to review the maintenance backlog, equipment history, predictive maintenance records and files from previous shutdowns.

Our preventive maintenance checklist below highlights a few tasks you won’t want to miss. They include some of the most common top 10 Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations that apply most to manufacturers, as well as a few other topics that may be important to all facilities.

“As compared to other maintenance procedures, shutdowns are more unpredictable since there are many opportunities to discover or create problems involving expensive equipment and machinery.”
Jason Beck
Former Director of Life Sciences for Evergreen EDC, SSOE Group

Summer Plant Shutdown Preventive Maintenance Checklist

Download this checklist.

Fall Protection Checklist

To prevent falls, you’ll need to check on everything from lighting to leaks, including:


__Are there enough lights on aisles, walkways, stairs and ramps?

__Are existing lights in working condition? Do bulbs need replacing?

Walking Surfaces

__Are walkways and stairs kept clear?

__Are walkways and stairs marked appropriately?

__Are floors and floor mats in good condition?

__Are floors and floor mats free of surface defects or edge damage that could catch on feet or rolling equipment?

__Are any pieces of equipment leaking, creating slip hazards?

You’ll also need to check stairways, ladders and escalators for hazards, and make sure all safety markings are in good condition. OSHA’s Checklist for Recognizing Slip, Trip and Fall Hazards provides more detail on the type of repairs that might be needed.

Hazard Communication

Summer shutdowns can be for more than maintenance; you can also use the time to review your documentation and safety communication for toxic and hazardous substances.

__Do you have an up-to-date written hazard communication program?

__Is chemical-specific information available through labels and safety data sheets?

__Are safety data sheets accessible during every work shift?

__Are safety data sheets available for every hazardous chemical in use?

You can learn more about the specific information needed on labels and data sheets at OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200(g)).

Scaffolding and Ladders

When in good repair, scaffolding and ladders can decrease the risk of falls from height. Are your ladders and scaffolding:

__Free of cracks, loose rungs and sharp edges?

__Free of dirt and grease?

__Have slip-resistant grips?

__Not loaded beyond the maximum capacity for which they were built?

For more details on scaffolding safety requirements, see OSHA’s Scaffolds Standard (29 CFR 1926.451). For more details on ladder requirements, see OSHA’s Stairways and Ladders Standard (29 CFR 1926.1053).

Respiratory Protection

A summer shutdown is a good time to ensure that personal protective equipment, including respirators, is in good repair. Are respirators:

__Clean, sanitary and in good working order?

__Stored to protect them from damage, contamination, dust, sunlight, extreme temperatures, excessive moisture and damaging chemicals?

__Packed or stored to prevent deformation of the facepiece and exhalation valve?

__Stored where they are accessible to work areas?

__Stored in containers that are clearly marked?

__Regularly inspected?

You can learn more about respirator requirements by reading OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134). OSHA’s PPE Assessment checklist offers tips on signs of wear to look for in other pieces of PPE.

LOTO Checklist (Lockout/Tagout)

Use the summer shutdown to review which machines need to use a lockout/tagout procedure and ensure that locks and tags meet OSHA standards. Are LOTO devices:

__Readily available?

__Authorized for the particular equipment or machinery?

__Durable, standardized and substantial?

__Inspected at least annually?

It’s also important that LOTO procedures be followed carefully during a summer shutdown, when maintenance may be performed on machinery and equipment. Check whether any new or overhauled equipment is capable of being locked out. Learn more about lockout/tagout procedures in OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy Standard (29 CFR 1910.147).

Machine Guarding Checklist

Machine guards help protect workers from serious injury, but they may need frequent maintenance. Check to see if machines designed for a fixed location are securely anchored and if guards:

__Are firmly secured?

Are free of:

__Visible cracks or tearing

__Bulges or dents

__Holes (unless holes are part of the design)

__Have been tampered with or removed?

If machine guards are removed for maintenance during the shutdown, make sure they are replaced. You can read more about machine guard safety requirements at OSHA’s Machinery and Machine Guarding Standard (29 CFR 1910.212).

Electrical Systems Checklist

Prevent shocks and other injuries by making sure your electrical systems are safely set up.

__Are plugs, cords and outlets in good repair?

__Is equipment only used for its designed purpose?

__Is equipment designed for indoor use being used only indoors?

__Are circuit breakers or fuses used with the right rating?

Are cords near:

__Heat, oil or sharp edges?

__Cutting surfaces or power saws or drills?

__Are extension cords three-wire type?

__Are all power supply systems grounded?

__Are all electrical circuits grounded?

__Is all electrical equipment grounded?

Read more about electrical systems requirements in OSHA’s Electrical Wiring Methods, Components and Equipment for General Use Standard (29 CFR 1910.305 and 29 CFR 1910 Subparts I, P and S).

Emergency Systems Checklist

Will your facility be ready if there’s an emergency? Do you have:

__Fully stocked first-aid kits?

__Automated external defibrillators?

__Fire extinguishers?

__Shelter-in-place supplies?

__Adequate emergency lighting?

__Clearly marked and lit exits?

Read OSHA’s Emergency Illumination checklist and Fire and Explosion Planning checklist for more details.

Security Systems Checklist

Security systems can help prevent workplace violence. Check that:

__Access to and freedom of movement around the facility are restricted to people who have a legitimate reason for being there

__Door locks are functioning

__Windows are secure

Closed-circuit cameras and alarm systems are in working order, including:

__Panic buttons

__Silent alarms

__Personal electronic alarm systems

OSHA’s Workplace Violence Checklist helps employers identify potential hazards.

Are you planning to perform a summer shutdown? Share your best practices.

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You may check out the Safety Rules During Fabrication



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