Companies can achieve greater efficiencies and control by planning statutory compliance alongside maintenance visits says Tim Beardsmore from electrical safety testing specialists Calbarrie Compliance Services
All electrical systems deteriorate due to factors such as damage, wear, tear, corrosion, excessive electrical loading, ageing and environmental influences. Planned preventative maintenance and regular testing will dramatically improve the performance, reliability and lifespan of these critical systems. Powering down of systems and equipment, however, can be a concern for many businesses.
As compliance and maintenance processes involve a likely disruption to operations it is pertinent to carry them out at the same time and companies can benefit from the inter-dependence between the two. If a company is fully aware of their asset condition and compliance status, they can address any potential problems before they become serious, resulting in improved business continuity, fewer breakdowns and a reduction in costs.
In an environment under pressure to reduce costs but maintain service levels across complex integrated services collaboration and innovation are key. Techniques such as dynamic scheduling, pre-start site surveys and clear lines of communication between key contacts can help FMs maximise on the natural synergies between complementary services.
Companies can dedicate a week when all statutory compliance and maintenance visits take place combining the deadlines of the client, the FM and the contractor. Efficiencies can be achieved from engineers attending site at the same time and receiving the site induction together. Engineers delivering different services can work alongside each other whilst the power is off speeding up the maintenance and compliance processes and allowing critical systems such as electrical, fire safety, UPS and data to be tested at the same time.
Pre-start surveys and meetings will help identify any scheduling specifics such as the requirement for evening or weekend working and health and safety risks posed by the site that require specialist training or personal protective equipment. Some public-facing companies prefer to opt for testing out of hours, helping them to remain operational whilst also reducing the risk of injury to members of the public and their employees.
Service focus such as greater control of remote workers and dedicated facilities teams will facilitate high operating standards to be achieved, and with careful planning and collaboration between FM, contractor and site representatives any disruption in service during maintenance should be avoided. Furthermore, this streamlining of processes can also provide the confidence for the client that critical systems remain safe and compliant whilst the common objectives to improve performance, increase control and reduce costs are achieved.