Creating Maintenance Training Programs for Operators

By Michael W. Blanchard, CRE, PE, Life Cycle Engineering
As appeared on

Although some maintenance activities require formal classroom training, many routine tasks can be taught to equipment operators internally using manufacturers’ instruction manuals and in-house subject matter expertise. Maintenance craft are often an underutilized resource for cross-training operators, and on-the-job training is the best method.

Operator maintenance activities make use of the knowledge and skills of the people who work with the equipment routinely, and give operators a vested interest in equipment reliability. Operator care tasks also free-up maintenance craft for more proactive maintenance (PM, PdM). 

However, operators first need to be trained to clean, inspect and perform basic maintenance tasks such as tightening fasteners. They also need to know when to reach out for help should the task appear beyond their capabilities. Involving operators and maintenance craft in developing the asset management strategy will identify opportunities for training operators to perform maintenance.

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Michael Blanchard is a Reliability Engineering Subject Matter Expert with Life Cycle Engineering (LCE). He has more than 25 years’ experience as a reliability leader in a variety of industries. Mike is a licensed Professional Engineer, a Certified Reliability Engineer, and a Certified Lean-Six Sigma Master Black Belt. You can reach Mike at [email protected].

© Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.

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