Tel: 01279 724989 | Contact Us

information hub header

Making the most of a summer shutdown

Time to make a thorough check on equipment

Author: Dee Jones/18 June 2024/Categories: WORKPLACE ADVICE, Maintenance

Rate this article:

UK companies should view the traditional summer shutdown as a period where there are great benefits that can be derived with some careful advanced planning. Effective use of their shutdown periods will prepare the ground for better future trading and sensible cost saving initiatives that can last throughout the year. Many activities can take place by scheduling tasks that would otherwise be extremely difficult during the normal company work time. Use this time wisely to carry out work that can more easily be conducted when there are no staff around or production activities in operation to impede the tasks in question.

Here are some necessary undertakings that can easily be achieved during the summer shutdown period:

Planned maintenance


Maintenance, repair or servicing
Looking after your hydraulic lifting or materials handling equipment will be a major cost saving exercise in the long run. Pallet trucks, stackers, forklifts, scissor lifts, trucks/trolleys or warehouse steps are all items of equipment that should be checked on a yearly basis to comply with LOLER and PUWER regulations. Basically any equipment that is used to complete the production and despatch process must be kept in good running order, otherwise unnecessary downtime in normal trading periods could become a costly error. Make sure to book in advance for the maintenance team to attend your premises to service or repair your equipment.

Health and safety checks
As with all businesses, the regular and timely inspection of all safety equipment, including the emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers, first aid kits, spill control kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), new signage, site barriers, safety matting and hazardous safety storage facilities is as important as buying the correct equipment in the first place. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offers some good advice with the provision of industry checklists that will help you to comply with the law.

Intense cleaning
Prioritising the cleaning of production areas, assembly lines, goods inwards/outwards, warehouses and storage areas can be extremely important when downtime allows that process. Component goods entering the building need to be kept in the cleanest condition possible for the final goods that are despatched to your customer to also be presented in absolute mint condition. This can only be achieved if all areas of the business are regularly cleaned. The shutdown period can be used to intensely clean the areas that might have been overlooked during normal working practises.

Increasing or better organising storage areas
Storage space is a costly expense and if by adding to or re-organising shelving, racking or mezzanine floor facilities then you provide the most cost-effective way of utilising these areas. This can often ‘free up’ space that can then be used for other company activities. It is a worthwhile exercise to regularly review alternative or new storage equipment that can help you to achieve the optimum storage capacity required.

Improving work areas
Bad weather conditions or hot summer periods will often turn out to be costly expenses for a business. Just as heat loss in colder months can be a problem it is easy to understand that overheating and dusty conditions can cause a problem throughout your site. The simple installation of some PVC strip curtains and better ventilation or temperature control will provide your employees with a safer and ultimately more productive environment to work in.

Access equipment
Should always be regularly checked and reviewed. The shutdown period gives you the best time to initiate safety checks of your ladders, platform steps, podiums, work platforms and scaffold towers. Do they need replacement in order to prevent a potential injury to employees or can the supply of more suitable equipment provide a benefit? If your staff struggle to perform tasks through poorly suited equipment then this will impact on productivity rates, morale and ultimately profitability.

Don’t delay
June is the ideal month to plan and schedule all the required activities that can take place during your shutdown period. So don’t leave matters until the last minute only to find that you have wasted a great opportunity!


For regular Action Handling updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter,  Sign up to our monthly newsletter for company news and information. 




Number of views (269)/Comments (0)

Theme picker

Company Info

Celebrating 50 years in business
SEDEX Member
Sage Pay - Credit Card Logos
Copyright 2024 by Action Handling Equipment Ltd