All tools, equipment, and vehicles must be properly maintained so that workers are not endangered. Construction regulations require inspections of vehicles, tools, machines, and equipment before use.

Preventive maintenance is the systematic care and protection of tools, equipment, machines, and vehicles in order to keep them in a safe, usable condition, that limits downtime and extends productivity. We must always be aware that maintenance tasks themselves are potentially hazardous and can result in injury. The successful maintenance program is:

  • well organized and scheduled
  • controls hazards
  • defines operational procedures
  • trains key personnel.

The degree of detail to include in your company's program regarding equipment maintenance will depend on the kinds of tools/equipment used. Some construction equipment (e.g., cranes) have very specific inspection and maintenance requirements. Mobile heavy equipment (dozers, loaders, scrapers, etc.) may have different maintenance requirements. Passenger vehicles (company trucks, cars, and vans) may require only basic maintenance. Power tools should be maintained in good working order. This may be limited to ensuring that blades/bits are replaced when needed and that guards or other safety devices are operable and any damaged electrical cords/plugs are repaired or replaced. Damaged or defective equipment/tools should be tagged and removed from service.

Most manufacturers can provide maintenance schedules for their equipment. Large companies with a fleet of vehicles/equipment typically have a comprehensive maintenance program due to the capital investment and/or leasing agreements. Smaller companies may lease equipment and maintenance services may be included in the leasing agreement.


General requirements for equipment maintenance include:

  • Obtaining a copy of the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Ensuring that maintenance is performed as required.
  • Ensuring that the person(s) performing the maintenance are competent (e.g. licensed mechanic).
  • Retaining records of maintenance/service conducted.
  • Specifying who is responsible for overseeing equipment maintenance and where the records are kept.
  • Setting up a system for removal and tagging of damaged or defective tools and equipment.


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The samples provided are intended to be modified to meet company or site-specific requirements. Without such modifications, they may not be appropriate. Although IHSA believes that the information provided is consistent with the legal requirements and/or good industry practices which prevailed at the time the information was compiled, users of this information are urged to check with current regulations, local/trade practices and the most recent edition of the reference material to ensure that it is still appropriate.

Last Updated: March 23, 2020