How to Create a Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Your Equipment?

How to Create a Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Your Equipment?
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: May 31, 2023
  • Updated On: May 31, 2023

An equipment checklist for preventive maintenance is vital to maintain the longevity of your machines. It will help you keep track of your routine maintenance and helps you identify potential problems before they become major. A checklist will keep your machine operating at its peak. This post provides the complete guideline for creating a preventive maintenance plan for your machinery. It will also explain why we should use the checklist, its benefits, and best practices in the implementation.

What is a Preventive Maintenance (PM) Checklist?

A PM checklist details what personnel must perform during the maintenance inspection. The PM checklist should include tasks that are both task-based (routine) as well as conditions-based tasks. Making sure that the most critical problems are prevented as well as rectified.

The preventive maintenance program identifies as well as prevents dangerous and costly difficulties. Your business will experience more results from your maintenance activities. If you establish and install an extensive plan which includes an extensive PM list.

Why We Need Preventive Maintenance Checklists

A formal list of the steps to take during an ongoing maintenance project can have many advantages. These are the main steps:

Standard Workflows and Improved Productivity

There are various ways of doing work, but there’s only one approach to doing an excellent job within the time limit. Defining the steps that technicians must perform during preventive maintenance can increase productivity. This allows new workers to complete the task while under minimal supervision. Make use of SOPs for standardizing maintenance tasks across all departments.

Improved Safety

A well-planned preventative maintenance program can prevent equipment from failing. This can lead to not only lower productivity but workers’ safety concerns. Additionally, a preventative maintenance checklist can reduce the chance of human error and provides important safety tips to reduce the likelihood of being injured.

Faster Troubleshooting

Once you understand the maintenance schedule for each item and who’s accountable for it, it becomes much simpler to determine the reason for what went wrong. A lesser number of reasons to consider is less time to devote to finding the root of the problem.

Better Maintenance Planning

With a straightforward set of actions, everyone must follow. It’s much simpler to determine how much time a technician takes to finish their tasks. That means the maintenance supervisor can schedule and manage the maintenance tasks much easier.

4 Tips for Creating a Preventive Maintenance Checklist

Involve the Right People in the Process

If you plan which assets to maintain and establish PMs for them, it is beneficial to have the appropriate levels of experience onboard. The maintenance supervisor and manager will be able to provide invaluable insight into the tasks required for each asset, as are some of your top technicians.

Also, you’ll need to include your maintenance plan as part of the conversation, as their main purpose is to schedule maintenance work–which is what creating the PM checklist is all about.

Be Detailed but Concise

For each task on your agenda, it is important to be exact and not create a huge chunk of text for your employees to go through. Clear and precise can ensure that your employees do their job each time and only when they do not think that reading every step wastes time. Avoid unnecessary words in your plan because this might cause confusion among those who are involved.

Include Pictures

There is no need to rely on words to explain the PM-related things on the checklist. Diagrams, photos, or pictures of the equipment and components could help create checklists that are as easy as possible. If you’re planning and scheduling maintenance, make use of pictures to better illustrate what needs to be done.

Include Safety Measures

If you’re creating PM items on your checklist, be conscious of any security measures required. For example, you’ll want to add lockout or tagout procedures whenever employees need equipment access. Additionally, you should include security warnings or PPE required to be included in every list.

Tips for Creating a Preventive Maintenance Checklist
How to Create a Preventive Maintenance Checklist

There’s no “one size fits all” maintenance plan, instead, the ideal one will depend on the type of facility or equipment that you’re working with in the first spot. Here are the ways how you can create an effective preventive maintenance checklist:

Assess Your Environment

To create a successful preventive checklist for maintenance, you need to know the environment you work in. Use your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) structure to assess your current situation.

Imagine that your company is accountable for maintaining the telecom infrastructure. As the maintenance manager, you are seeking methods to boost your team’s effectiveness.

  • Strengths: The employees are educated and enthusiastic about doing their duties.
  • Problems: Using old forms, paper documents, and outdated forms results in you receiving questionable answers.
  • Opportunities: For instance, in the coming month, the maintenance portfolio of your company includes five locations because you have gained new customers. Maintaining quality throughout this growth phase will be crucial to your management.
  • Risks: A few customers you deal with complain about the cost of expenses even though they are not doing anything. Proving the worth of a preventive program for maintenance is one strategy you’ve thought of.

After you’ve been armed with the information you need, You will then be able to make an agenda specific to your job’s needs.

Create a Draft Checklist

Maintaining a successful business is a matter of making decisions. If your team is assigned to perform a comprehensive investigation of site A they won’t be able to check other locations. Be aware of this if you worry that your effort will not cover all assets within the building.

In keeping with the example of telecom maintenance above, here are a few ideas to add to your checklist:

  • What are the most valuable assets? If you are in the telecom industry, you could decide to concentrate on equipment and infrastructure exposed to elements.
  • What are the primary indicators of the failure of an asset? When you look through the user’s reports, it is possible to find connectivity is intermittent for a few weeks before a complete loss. Finding out the cause of that issue is an excellent method to solve the issue.
  • What do you consider to be “quick wins” for preventive maintenance? Contact your field personnel for ideas in this field. If your employees are involved with developing a checklist, they’re more likely to use it.
  • Which important checkpoints are not being addressed in times of stress? This is a crucial concern for you when the company grows to provide take care of more facilities and sites.

Test the Checklist

At this point, the checklist for preventive maintenance might include as many as a dozen items and questions about your system. It’s already considering the most valuable assets and staff feedback and reviewing the most important indicators.

It’s time to check your checklist using these procedures:

  • Check the checklist in reverse to check for any errors. This method of proofreading helps to spot any mistakes.
  • Check the checklist on your own. It is best to apply the checklist in a different context where you can focus on every stage.
  • Request two more users to go through the checklist and give comments.
  • Create modifications to the checklist as needed based on the responses you receive.

Introduce the Checklist

If the checklist for preventive maintenance is new for your group, you’ll have to lead your employees through it and then train the process to make it effective. Use the tips below to introduce your staff to the plan. If the staff is located in the same place, you can organize a brief team meeting to discuss how to use the document.

  • Begin by explaining why. Then explain that preventing accidents is a great option to avoid accidents and reduce costs by avoiding expensive repairs.
  • Recap the steps you took to develop the checklist. Your employees will be more comfortable following the checklist after knowing it is already tested on the job.
  • Help answer questions and offer help. Instruct your employees to inquire now to prevent becoming lost in the field.
  • Distribute the checklist to the team. Utilizing a digital form to collect data is an excellent way to introduce the checklist and ensure it is accessible to the team.


Creating a preventive checklist is essential to ensuring your equipment is running. It will help reduce the chance of unplanned time-to-downtime, suppose you follow this guide’s key aspects and the best methods.

Establish a reliable preventive maintenance plan. This will allow you to maximize the efficiency of your equipment, decrease the time it takes to repair, and increase the safety of your equipment. Do not wait until a malfunction is discovered, begin preparing your preventive maintenance checklist now to ensure your equipment is running at peak performance.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.