O&M and process safety personnel should be involved in the initial equipment design to ensure that appropriate safeguards and safety-related maintenance requirements are included in the design (e.g., correct valve placement, electrical isolation, equipment accessibility, built-in condition monitoring).

This approach is useful for planning a reliability-centered maintenance program:

  • Develop a list of equipment components in the facility.
  • Arrange the components into priority groupings (higher, medium, and lower) based on importance to the process, safety, operability, or other key criteria for the facility.
  • Determine the required maintenance activities, manpower requirements, and timing for each component based on technical manuals, history, root cause analysis results, and good engineering judgment.
  • Build a master maintenance schedule starting with the activities to be performed on the higher-priority components. For example, use color-coding to differentiate higher-priority items from medium- and lower-priority items.
  • Use the schedule to ensure that the higher-priority components receive the greatest attention before something goes wrong, whereas the lower-priority components can be dealt with in a reactive approach as necessary.