My facility – in common with many I suspect – has a great deal of electrical equipment accumulated over the years. We are developing maintenance and safety plans – any tips for planning safe ­maintenance procedures?

Certainly! Planned safety and maintenance is the absolute key to significant savings in both downtime and injuries. I guarantee that an efficient maintenance plan together with an easy to use system will save you money in terms of lost production time and protect your employees. It really is a win-win ­situation and relatively simple to implement.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work is in the second year of its ‘Healthy Workplaces’ campaign, highlighting maintenance procedures amongst others, and the HSE recommends that all electrical equipment should be visually checked on a regular basis for signs of deterioration and damage, the table at the bottom of the page gives a suggested guide to intervals.

During maintenance an energy specific lockout system is essential. It sounds obvious but always ensure the system you choose is relevant for that purpose. Here at Brady we have just launched a small, but significant addition to our lockout range as a direct response to customer needs. On the face of it, it’s a small padlock and you might think that’s all there is to it, but as with everything we do, it’s so much more! Firstly, the reason it’s small is to provide a lightweight product and smaller shackle for some of the newest and latest lockout devices – but its most important quality relating to an electrical lockout system is its material which is non-conductive with a spark-resistant lock body. I try to steer clear of mentioning products in detail, but the point I am trying to emphasise is that you really need to pay attention to detail, even when sourcing what seems a small link in the chain. Our compact padlocks have the benefit of Brady R&D poured into them to give extra benefits to ensure a much safer option. For example, the insulated key chamber protects workers from shock when the key is inserted, the body is ribbed to make gripping easy and it has enhanced impact resistance to stand up to the demands of harsh environments. Together with Brady’s other lockout products it can provide a top-quality, industrial total safety solution. It’s gratifying when customers listen and implement any changes or updates we suggest, and it’s by talking and listening to our customers that we develop products that really make a difference. As I’ve said many times before, if you are unsure of what system could help you operate more safely and efficiently please just ask one of our Brady team for advice or better still, arrange a site visit and we can talk you through our complete solutions.