Starting Equipment After An Extended Shut Down

Following an extended period of shut down, the parts and components of machinery can become corroded, seized or strained, potentially leading to breakdowns or catastrophic failures if not given the proper care before switching on again.

It is therefore good practice for commercial property owners or managers to ensure a qualified person carries out thorough checks before restarting machinery after long periods of non-use. Below, we outline some basic guidance and considerations for starting machinery in commercial properties once again*. 

A cold start-up of machinery following a period of dormancy could lead to catastrophic failure of mechanical parts. Vibration, seizure and problems caused by a build-up of corrosion, moisture or foreign contaminants may lead to the failure of components and protective devices. 

Before starting up machinery:

  • Always refer to the manual for the machinery for specific start up procedures
  • Ensure you have all critical spare parts and tools
  • Isolate the machine and lock off supplies to make it safe to carry out your checks
  • Thoroughly clean all accessible parts of the machine and equipment 
  • Check for leaks and that lubrication levels are adequate 
  • Ensure plugged-in electrical parts are secure and there is no loose or damaged wiring 
  • Ensuring the power is still isolated, check control panel switches and buttons are in working order
  • So no part of the machine can move without an operator, ensure machine settings and parameters are correct or are in neutral 
  • Wherever possible, move rotating, pivoting and sliding parts manually and lubricate where required in accordance with the user manual 
  • Once checks are complete, replace all guarding and safely and slowly start the machine in parts. If possible, verify each part is working before engaging next part. 
  • If applicable, check battery back-up is working and all necessary PLC-type programs have been retained
  • After start-up, listen for abnormal noises and feel for excess vibration
  • Re-check the machine for leaks 
  • The initial release of parts or a build up of dust on the electrical elements may cause a burning smell. If this persists, isolate the machine. 
  • If you are not going to continue to use it, isolate the machine. 

Lansdowne Woodward are leading business insurance brokers and our team has years of experience helping companies in the South obtain an insurance policy that perfectly suits their individual requirements. To learn more about how we can help safeguard your operation, get in touch today on 01202 874 989 and we’ll be happy to help. 

*Please note, our guidance should not replace the defined maintenance start up processes and prescribed procedures of equipment/installation operation manuals or codes of practice.