Are you asking your maintenance team to act like heroes?

Maintenance prédictive Soralink

Although maintenance activities as a whole have grown in importance within production companies over the last decade, the planning of most of these tasks remains largely "improvised".

While the majority of predictive* and preventive* maintenance actions are organized and well thought-out, those related to corrective* maintenance in the event of unplanned breakdowns are urgent and without defined rules.

Is your team a league of superheroes?

The question seems silly, and most of you will answer "Of course not"... but think again. During a breakdown, if the maintenance team fixes the problem quickly and production restarts without too much damage, what do you say to your team? Chances are, it would be something like: "Thank you! You saved the day", "If we deliver this order on time, it's thanks to you", "Wow! Thanks to your work, we've just saved countless hours in overtime".

What if, despite your good intentions and your appreciation of their work, you are asking much more of them than that? What if, without realizing it, you are asking them to put their lives and health on the line every day?

The day-to-day reality of maintenance work: alarming statistics

Every company has a duty to make health and safety at work a priority and a major issue. Despite all the awareness campaigns, measures put in place and guidelines to follow, maintenance workers are still much more exposed than other workers.

Did you know that, every year, 15% to 20% of fatal occupational accidents1 are directly linked to maintenance work? 

Here are some other numbers that reflect the reality of maintenance work2 vs. the average for all workers of all kinds:

  • 3x more serious accidents
  • 6x more illnesses
  • 8x more deaths

The consequences of a workplace accident for the company

As managers, when a breakdown occurs, we tend to focus mainly on the immediate losses in terms of production, delay penalties, overtime payroll and so on. But what if it's not worth it in monetary terms? What if a workplace accident cost the company far more than the total cost of an unplanned production stoppage?

According to the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé's report on work-related illnesses and accidents in Quebec3, the average cost of a work-related injury was $38,507 in 2013. In 2023, this figure would reach $49,500.

Impact of workplace accidents

Experts agree that the indirect impacts and costs of workplace accidents represent 2 to 5 times the direct costs. It can be difficult for companies to identify them clearly, as they are spread over time and may affect departments other than production, such as sales or human resources.

These can impact on the company's reputation, productivity and the general motivation of all staff members.

How can you reduce these risks for maintenance team members and the impact on your business?

The answer is very simple, and has been proven by a number of studies: urgent, unplanned maintenance activities must be reduced to a minimum (or even eliminated). In fact, according to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA), performing predictive and preventive maintenance divides the risk of accident1 for a maintenance worker by 12. 

Do you realize what a huge difference this makes? 

In our previous articles, in our meetings with potential customers and in our presentations, we always say that migrating to a type of maintenance other than corrective maintenance will affect the retention of your current employees, as well as attracting highly skilled new ones. People usually have trouble understanding why... well, here's the reason! If you had a choice between two employers, would you choose the job where you risk your life 12x more every day? Not twice as much, not three times as much, but twelve times as much!

In conclusion

Chances are, now that you know these statistics and the risks your maintenance team is exposed to, you are wondering where to start thinking about change within your company.

In fact, when it comes to maintenance, there's no one perfect solution for every business. However, the experts at Soralink would be pleased to discuss your issues, your reality and your needs with you, and see how predictive maintenance can apply to your business. To do so, you can contact us at , follow us on LinkedIn or subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest news in this field.

Have you downloaded your ebook?

Soralink is offering you its first ebook: Machine Learning in Predictive Maintenance. Download it now by clicking here to learn more about how technology is permanently changing maintenance. This document explains how machine learning for predictive maintenance works, its benefits, challenges and real-life cases.