The mining industry is heavily centered on equipment and technology. Every day, people and machines pit themselves against the forces of the earth to mine for resources. Equipment that is appropriately maintained works better, but it is also a critical element in worker safety.
To ensure maximum safety and productivity from mining equipment, it must have proper maintenance. Fortunately, as Mining Equipment Manufacturers stand behind the products they make, they are also staunch supporters of the appropriate maintenance of their machinery. This article outlines five essential tips for the proper maintenance of mining equipment.
1. Ensure Proper and Regular Lubrication.
Just as is the case with practically any type of machinery, proper lubrication can make the difference between how well or poorly it runs and for how long. This is especially true for machinery that is as frequently exposed to the stress and dirt as mining equipment is. All mining equipment should be lubricated regularly and adequately to ensure maximum performance.
2. Keep Equipment Clean
There are probably few businesses anywhere that are as naturally associated with dirt, mud, and grit as mining. That makes the fact that dirty mining equipment doesn’t function effectively and is at higher risk for breakdowns all the more critical.
Mining equipment is loaded with seals, filters, and other components to keep it in good running order. Ensuring that seals, filters, and other critical components are cleaned and replaced as scheduled is a key to equipment that runs correctly and for as long as possible.
3. Resolve Wear and Tear Issues
Mining equipment goes through a lot daily, and it stands to reason that something will go wrong from time to time. Even minor wear and tear problems with machinery can become major when they are ignored or not dealt with effectively and on time. This is especially true when equipment is under heavy use. All equipment should be checked regularly to make sure that there are no wear and tear issues, and if there are, they should be addressed as soon as possible.
4. Train Workers Properly
The key to ensuring that machinery is maintained correctly is a well-trained workforce that knows how to perform the servicing duties responsibly. Mining equipment should only be serviced by those employees who know and understand how the maintenance is to be done. Furthermore, anyone responsible for operating mining equipment should know how to do it correctly to help prevent damage that will need to be repaired in the future. Someone should also be responsible for ensuring that all scheduled maintenance is performed on time and meets established standards.
5. Be On the Lookout
This point comes close on the heels of training workers properly, but it bears repeating. If one of your employees notices something that might be amiss with a piece of equipment, would they know to stop the operation to check it out or wait until the work was completed? The sooner a maintenance issue is brought to everyone’s attention, the faster it can be rectified.
Just as is the case with safety, equipment maintenance is everybody’s business. All employees need to understand that each of them has a stake in making sure that things in a mine run smoothly, and that maintaining the efficient operation of equipment is a major part of doing that.