Pre-Major Plant Shutdown Checklist

The devil’s in the details” goes the old saying; meaning that if one doesn’t pay attention to the details, it is the details that will get you.

Facility Managers do manage major shutdown work or major work involving large external workforce and equipment moving in for work in both industrial and non-industrial sites. The points in the following list would help us to plan in advance; covering as much details, thus reducing or eliminating some of the “devils”.

 Access Control. Consider limiting and controlling the movement and presence of personnel in the major shutdown work areas. Areas could be barricaded using simple stands and barricade tapes, by deploying sentries or by sealing off affected areas completely. This is resorted to for:

  •  Personal and material safety
  • To define paths for entry and exit for workers, other people and material.
  • To warn people about hazardous areas.

 Work Permits for Modifications and New Constructions. Formal work permits for any modification or new construction works would help in controlling and monitoring people accessing such work areas. These permits could be prepared in advance for the planned work, to avoid delay in start and progressing of work.

 Workman Compensation Insurance for Contract Labour. Ensure that all the contractors provide minimum liability protection and workman compensation insurance for the full period of the work being undertaken by them. This could be made as mandatory to commence work.

 Dust Control. Most of the construction and fabrication works undertaken during periodic shut downs would tend to increase the dust levels in the buildings. Periodic and frequent premises cleaning, sealing off the dust sensitive areas such as clean rooms, providing additional filtration with at HVAC return air suction filter stage, wetting of un-concreted grounds, etc would help reduce dust ingress into buildings.

 Deep Cleaning. Deep cleaning of all affected building premises and thorough cleaning of HVAC duct filters are to be planned before production / services commencement after all the work gets over.Each contractor is liable to clean their own work areas thoroughly before they go out of the site on completion of their part of work.

 Emergency Provisions. Provision of additional emergency showers, eye baths, first aid kits, roving medical aid personnel, strategically positioned stretchers etc to reduce the time taken for first aid in case of any accident or incident.

 Traffic and Crowd Control. Traffic and crowd control points need to be identified in advance for the areas where work is planned and arrangements made for monitoring and controlling such areas by:

  •  Having roving patrols in case of very large area coverage.
  •  Fixing timing for movement of large equipment and other critical sores in and out of work areas.
  •  Keeping track of people accessing work areas.
  •  Issuing identification cards or other markers for the temporary personnel with colour coding to identify areas allowed to access.
  •  Keeping lists of shift personnel on work, their exact locations of working etc.
  •  Keeping a list of emergency contact numbers to contact in case of a mishap or things going out of control.

Waste and scrap handling. During shut down works, much scrap, liquid & solid waste get generated than during normal operations. These need to be identified and disposed regularly to avoid piling up within or outside the work spaces. Hazardous materials are to be identified and disposed as per agreed norms.

 Spill control and containment. Plan for spill control, containment etc if large quantities of hazardous liquids or liquid waste is likely to be handled.

Safety Training. Basic safety training is mandatory for all the temporary workers. Specialised training for people engaged in working at heights, welding, gas cutting, entering confined spaces etc is also essential.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Each contractor is responsible to provide necessary PPE such as safety shoes, gloves, hard hats, welding goggles, anti-splash glasses etc as per their planned and agreed jobs. Use of such items is to be monitored and ensured.

Controlling Noise. Some the shut down jobs may produce excessive noise. For example, concrete cutting, steel grinding, drilling etc. There could be a need to schedule such works to avoid disturbance to other operational areas. For extremely noisy areas, ear plugs may be issued and compliance monitored. 

Project work related damage to Plant Property. Damage to existing property by way of pavements, fences, walls, building portions due to heavy vehicle movements, oversight and / or negligence during project works is possible. Contract clauses to bind contractors to repair any such consequential damages are essential.

External Temporary Contractors’ Material such as Scaffolding, Raw Material, Equipment, Temporary Switchboards etc. The non-regular contractors may bring many items to progress their individual works. There is a need to identify these items to avoid disputes among contractors on items being hijacked by others on site. Ensuring proper unique marking, colour coding of scaffolding, securing expensive material through additional security personnel, etc could be resorted to.

Supervision during Holidays and Night shifts. During contract project work it is possible for work to go on round the clock and over weekends or other closed holidays. There is a need to oversee and monitor all the external contractor works during such periods to ensure safe working and to assist in case of any incident or accident.

Temporary Facilities during Shut down Work. As part of major shut down activities, many temporary facilities may be set up for the large number of temporary work personnel on site. Some of these may be on direct cost to the contractors and vendors, but the FM needs to be aware of such facilities from start to finish.

  •  Temporary cafeteria / Eating facility / Water dispensing points. Logistics arrangements may need to extended from existing arrangements.
  •  Temporary First Aid. Strategically located to provide optimum coverage.
  •  Temporary Lighting. Neatly and securely laid cables and proper connectors need to be provided and timings for the lighting to be switched on and off be discussed. If large number of high power lights are required, separate metering to ascertain energy consumption also may be required.
  •  Temporary shower rooms, rest rooms and change rooms. This needs to be ascertained in advance to give adequate time to set up.
  •  Temporary Storage. Though the storage and security of stores such as raw material, tools, and equipment is that of the concerned vendor or contractor, some basic facilities would have to be provided.
  • Temporary Power Connections. There will be many requirements for temporary power connections. Vendors need to specify the capacity required, timing, equipment going to be connected for work etc. Safety is paramount in this to avoid overloading of feeders, use of unsafe equipment by vendors and contractors, Separate energy meters may also be required depending on the company policies on energy usage billing.
  • Temporary Telephones. This may be provided as required.

Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) Process Review. In view of the large number of temporary workers who are not well versed with the site systems and processes being present on site and working side by side, a review of the LOTO processes to provide robust and reliable isolation of energies need to be worked out and installed. All the existing site staff and temporary contractor staff need to be trained and informed about the new controls in place. 

Plan your work in advance and execute your work as per plans; you will be free of most of the devils.


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