The Importance of a Well Maintained Plant Operation...
How Clean Is Your Site?

Ryan Barker, Global Service Manager
CDE Global
Special Collaboration


Ryan Barker, Global Service Manager at CDE Global evaluates the often underestimated gains of maintaining a clean and tidy site over and above regular plant maintenance…


With maximum productivity being at the forefront of most businesses minds, very often the basic principles of site housekeeping are overlooked and even ignored. While plants are processing material, it is easy for the operator in charge or even the site owner to assume that it will continue to do so without any type of care or attention given to the surrounding areas and the plant itself.

This is not always the case however. As well as obviously being a major step towards promoting a healthy and safe working environment, good, consistent site housekeeping can go a long way in ensuring that your plant continues to produce high quality products at a consistent rate and here is why…

The advantages of best practice site maintenance

  • A reduction in clean-up costs: Taking a proactive approach to site maintenance and adopting a “tidy as you go” policy over the life of the quarry will ultimately reduce the time and money spent on site cleanup during periods where the plant may be shut down or be non-operational, for example through the winter months in some cases. A well conserved site is less laborious than trying to maintain one that has been subject to poor upkeep in the past.
  • Avoidance of regulatory fines: A company who ensures a clean, well-organized site avoids potential penalties from various industry related regulatory bodies and other legal entities.
  • Enhancement of employee safety & morale: Employees that feel safe at work are more prone to feeling happier in the workplace which in turn can lead to staff making a greater personal impact in the company. In simple terms, this can mean increased productivity, reduced absence from work and even higher staff retention.
  • Generation of revenue & increased efficiency: Regular site maintenance can help to accommodate high productivity levels and more importantly the creation of high quality end products for resale. Furthermore, a clean and well-organized quarry site can increase production efficiency by ensuring open paths and roadways for easier access to the plant. Regular preventative maintenance on key areas of a plant will ultimately maximize uptime through planned and routine checks.
  • Freeing up manpower: By having a continuous and regular focus on site maintenance, this will ensure that site housekeeping is integral to the business and therefore more manageable. This can in turn save employees more time in the long term and allow them to be more productive on other plant-related tasks with a focus on the primary objective of maximum productivity.
  • A saving on fuel costs: A clean, easily accessible plant can also provide site operatives with a direct route to specific areas of the plant when using other items of machinery such as loading shovels which could mean a reduction in fuel consumption.
  • Enhancement of company reputation through corporate social responsibility: Adequate maintenance and site housekeeping practices could potentially help a company to retain current customers and attract new ones.

The maintenance of equipment should not be undertaken on a “one-off” basis, this should be a daily, ongoing part of any quarry or site operation. In most cases, maintenance work can done by employees on site provided that they are adequately trained, but some work may require the expertise of plant providers for more technical maintenance schedules.

Furthermore it has been said that by maintaining site cleanliness and a general program of maintenance this will actively reduce the chances of dirt or debris entering the plant and will ensure that maximum uptime is maintained at all times where possible.

The creation of a housekeeping checklist can also assist in maintaining a clean, effective site.

Moreover, improvement in health and safety is most effectively achieved when it becomes totally integrated into everything that a business does and as a result, employees therefore should be educated that it is necessary to “tidy as you go”.

In addition, preventative maintenance measures can increase efficiency in day-to-day operations, as well as increase the overall readiness of plants in case of unexpected levels of processing requirements, allowing you to meet and exceed the demands and expectations of customers and in turn provide a quality service. Not only does regular maintenance improve plant performance, maintenance includes and is not limited to adjustments, cleaning, lubrication and the replacement of parts.  

Likewise, regular plant inspections will identify any areas for enhancement that you would not otherwise have known and very often these can be easily rectified by having a competent service engineer on site.

In summary, by regularly maintaining a clean site and plant operation, not only are you maximizing production, you are also providing a safe working environment, which both in the long term can provide significant cost savings.

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