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Safety Tips for Handling a Plant Shutdown

November 29, 2019

Safety Tips for Handling a Plant Shutdown

Planned downtime can be one of the highest pressure situations for your maintenance department. A large amount of work has been divided into small activities and scheduled, but the deadline to resume the production is approaching fast. On top of that, safety has been one of your major concerns.

For many mining and construction companies, plant shutdowns are critical procedures. Large organizations can’t compromise maintenance and equipment reliability. Be it for any reason, a plant shutdown must be comprehensive enough to prevent an unexpected shutdown in the near future.

While it’s impossible to keep your plant up and running without proper maintenance, executing a shutdown plan may involve hazards, lengthy and costly procedures. Your employee must feel safe in this line of work. Taking into account the hazardous environment, you need to make sure your people are well-equipped and trained to handle their tasks adequately.

Training and the availability of the right tools make it easy for your employees to understand and implement different procedures to ensure the safety and successful completion of the project. Here are some safety tips for handling plant shutdowns safely:

Hazard assessment

When you put a sound plant maintenance shutdown strategy in place that also addresses safety-related issues, it becomes easy for your staff to avoid potential accidents. During a major maintenance event, heavy-duty equipment and tools create workplace hazards. It is critical to assess those hazards in advance and implement a strategy to remove them. If you’re unable to carry out a risk assessment process or not sure how to keep your maintenance technicians safe, don’t hesitate to consult preventive maintenance and shutdown experts.

Emergency drills

Emergency evacuation drills are a vital component of a safety training program. In emergency situations, your employees must know what to do to safely evacuate the site. Define exits carefully and train workers on how they can use them during emergencies. Your maintenance team should also know which equipment can be left running and which must be shut down. To avoid problematic situations, keep your tools in good working condition.


Safety training is essential when it comes to working in hazardous industrial environments. A more coherent and collaborative work environment will encourage your staff to assist each other in making the right decisions. It’s recommended to hire experts to train your employees on machinery safety procedures.

The plant shutdown process runs smoothly when your employees feel motivated and confident in their capabilities. Before you start any major maintenance activity, make sure to define your goals and strategy. When everyone keeps a clear head, your chances of successfully completing plant shutdown increase dramatically.

Conclusively speaking, a successful plant shutdown begins with a safe workforce. A well-thought-out plan, documented procedures, well-trained workers, and proper communication are some of the key factors that enable you to safely handle a plant shutdown.

About Quality Millwright

Throughout Alberta, Quality Millwright and Machine Services has been providing top-notch preventive maintenance and plant shutdown services to a broad range of industries. Our rich industrial maintenance experience and industry knowledge helps us stand out and earn a good reputation. If you don’t have a well-trained workforce and tools to keep your production plant up and running, feel free to contact us!