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Maintenance & CNESST

Taken together, the above studies reveal the need for an analysis of the links between maintenance activities and occupational health and safety, in order to gain a better understanding of their specific features and associated issues.
This is all the more important as, to date, most efforts to reduce workplace accidents have focused on production workers, although it is often observed that maintenance workers are disproportionately exposed to a greater number of accidents.
A few studies have been carried out in France on the links between maintenance and OHS. The first deals specifically with subcontracted maintenance operations and the impact of subcontracting on workers’ health and safety. The most important points raised in this series of papers concern maintenance managers, who are less familiar with the machines than they used to be, and the specifications for interventions, which are less detailed and often underestimated in terms of time and materials.
Furthermore, subcontractors are often selected primarily on the basis of the cost of the service. In this case, the safety of the service may suffer, unless the supplier has a “total quality” objective. Reported problems also concern the transmission of information to subcontractors and the performance of undocumented tasks. Finally, machines are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with little-identified risks, requiring complete machine lockout before intervention.
The last three concern maintenance-operations interactions, which are a major factor in safety or insecurity. In the case of maintenance operations during a scheduled shutdown of a boiler plant, the main findings of the study are that the information flow is deficient, as not all information is transmitted between the various parties involved, and information gains and losses occur between each stage.

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