Reactive maintenance is the process of cleaning up damage or repairing equipment or structures after failure has already occurred. For example, as parks and recreation workers, we may have to perform reactive clean up of fallen trees, repair electrical systems or even rebuild entire structures after damage is already done. If staff calls upon the maintenance department for a special event setup, that would also fall under the category of reactive maintenance.
The Negative Connotation of Reactive Maintenance
Reactive maintenance has a somewhat negative connotation in the workplace because, in general, it is the least efficient form of maintenance. It is often more costly, disruptive and can directly affect customers in a negative way. It is often viewed as completely unnecessary and avoidable. However, that perspective mainly comes from people working in a machinery-heavy industrial environment. The reality in the field of parks and recreation is that reactive maintenance is a normal, expected part of operation. Much of our work is a reaction to unpredictable events such as weather, vandalism or even a last minute rental requiring setup.
Can Reactive Maintenance be Prevented?
Reactive maintenance can and should be reduced as much as possible by implementing a quality preventive maintenance program. The regular inspection of various parks and recreation properties allows us to spot many small issues before they become bigger problems. However, no matter how well we plan, some reactive maintenance is unavoidable in our field.
Minimizing the Operational Impact of Reactive Maintenance
So, what can we do to minimize the operational impact of these unplanned events? We can put systems in place to deal with them in the most efficient way. When a problem is brought to staff’s attention, it must be documented immediately. Then the person in charge of the affected asset must be notified. Maintenance staff needs to be assigned to complete the repair work. Also, any required materials have to be acquired. Management needs a way to track the current status of such a repair at all times. Finally, once a repair task is completed, all involved staff must be notified and proper documentation must be completed. That documentation must be filed for future reference because information about the repair may be required at a later date when dealing with a related issue.
All of these steps are possible using a paper system, but using a paper system is time-consuming and tedious. It only adds to the stress and expense created by a reactive maintenance issue.
We’ve built Productive Parks to help you become more productive and efficient when dealing with reactive maintenance.
Next time we’ll be discussing Predictive Maintenance.