Covid -19 Adapting your maintenance strategies

The IM+SS consultancy team can offer expert technical support to ensure your planned maintenance activities help you remain compliant and focussed on your critical assets during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Government’s emergency measures to try and contain the spread the of the coronavirus has had the impact of reducing occupancy levels or indeed the closure of buildings. However, such resultant impacts do not mean that that planned maintenance activities can be put on hold until normality returns; quite the opposite, as some of these tasks, particularly for critical assets, become even more important.

There is thus a current and urgent need for your maintenance strategies to be flexible and adapt to the changing circumstances. Our team of consultants possess the technical expertise to help you identify, prioritise and implement a new planned maintenance regime that ensures you remain compliant, continue to meet contractual requirements and that the integrity and lifecycle of your assets is safeguarded.

To help guide you through the current situation, key considerations are:

Reducing your maintenance strategy: You may decide to implement a reduced building maintenance strategy, such as “SFG30 Mothballing & Reactivation.” Even though a building is empty, maintenance activity, albeit reduced, will still need to be undertaken. It is important the identification and prioritisation of such tasks, is carried out in line with the specification. BESA are currently offering the “SFG30” specification as a free download to their members during the crisis and at a reduced rate for non-members.

Water Systems: Maintenance of water systems is also important within buildings, given the current climate of reduced building occupancy. Any reduction in water usage can lead to problems in both the storage and distribution systems. It has the potential to cause problems with bacterial growth, as systems can quickly become colonised with bacteria such as legionella. There are some basic steps and measures that could be implemented, such as ensuring water temperatures remain compliant and reducing water storage capacity, but each must be carefully considered and implemented based on current risk.

Ventilation Systems: It is important that you have checked and can demonstrate that you have a robust maintenance strategy in place to ensure that the systems are operating in accordance with their design requirements and performance criteria. Within healthcare environments it is crucial to have a full schedule of all critical and non-critical systems and to identify non-critical systems for locations that are now being used to isolate suspected cases of COVID-19 as these, because of the circumstances, probably become ‘critical’ on a temporary basis.

Medical gases: particularly oxygen, are also critical systems. Within hospitals most confirmed cases of COVID-19 will require breathing assistance and will therefore be connected to the oxygen system. One important consideration whether the resilience of the oxygen systems has ever been reviewed/considered and single points of failure identified and appropriate mitigation measures established?

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