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 experts. Maintenance craftspeople are often an underutilized resource for cross-training operators, and on-the-job (or OTJ) training is the best knowledge-transfer 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 craftspeople for more proactive maintenance (i.e., preventive and predictive maintenance).
However, before they can delve into more specialized tasks, operators need to be trained to clean and inspect equipment 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 craftspeople in developing an asset management strategy can help an organization identify opportunities for training operators to perform maintenance.