Checklist to Determine the Level of Performance of Equipment Basic Care Program

Checklist to Determine the Level of Performance of Equipment Basic Care Program

Following the previous article Equipment Basic Care Program for Fertilizer Operating Facilities, a checklist similar to the table below should be used to determine and track the level of performance with a basic care program:

Level 1 

Level 2 

Level 3 

Level 4 

Level 5 

Not engaged



Good practice

Best practice


Equipment is not cleaned with any regularity. Equipment cleaned sporadically Written cleanliness standards and cleaning routines exist but no formal system for execution. Standards exist. Standards well defined and consistently followed.
No cleanliness standards exist. Informal, unwritten standard. Fewer cleanliness related failures but still unacceptable levels. Consistently followed. Evidence of continuous improvement.
Excessive failures due to poor cleanliness. Equipment stills fails due to poor cleanliness. Few equipment failures related to cleanliness. Sources of contamination identified and eliminated.
No continuous improvement in cleaning routines.


Operators perform little or no lubrication activities on equipment although opportunities exist. Operators perform some lubrication activities. Standards exist but not enforced. Standards exist and consistently followed. Standards well defined and consistently followed.
No defined standards. Some variability between operators. Little variation between operators. Evidence of continuous improvement.
No consistency between operators. No formal training to standards. Formal training program.
Room for expansion.
No continuous improvement.


Maintenance called for all adjustments. 1 or 2 skilled operators make minor adjustments Some level of formal training and documented standards exists. Clear standards, training, and coaching provided. Standards, training, and coaching provided.
Knowledge not shared across all operators. No follow-up and coaching. Operators performing the majority of adjustments. Consistently followed.
High % of operator induced errors from adjustments made. A high degree of variability across operators. Low variability across operators.
Ample evidence of continuous improvement exists.


No operator inspections performed. Informal inspections performed by some operators Written standards exist but mostly comprised of checklists. Written standards exist and consistently followed. Properly developed inspections exist and followed.
No documentation. No indications of acceptable performance on checklists. Clear definitions of acceptable performance. Ample evidence of continuous improvement exists.
No consistency across operators.

Visual Controls

Excessive number of visual indicators (gauges, meters, etc.). Visual controls not employed. An initial assessment conducted.  High-level visual controls in place to enhance equipment operation and inspections. Extensive use of visual controls with acceptable ranges marked.
Indicators not clearly labeled. Unclear what acceptable performance range is when looking at indicators. Some visual controls applied. Few improvements beyond the initial effort. Inspections enhanced through the applications of visual controls.
Gauges broken, missing, inoperable. Equipment poorly designed for proper observation. Many opportunities still exist. Equipment design optimized for visual controls.
No link between visual controls and inspection standards.

Defect Reporting

No formal reporting of defects. Informal process in place. Process in place but loosely followed. The formal process in place and consistently followed. The formal process in place and consistently followed.
Small problems grow into large problems due to poor communication. Largely relies on verbal communication. Reliance on verbal communication chain leading to unnecessary failures. All defects tagged and reported on the same shift found. Trends and patterns identified in history with appropriate actions taken.
No formal process in place. An excessive number of emergency repairs due to last minute reporting. Follow-up processes not consistent. Evidence of appropriate follow-up and resolution based on priorities.

Supervisor Checks

Supervisors have little to no interaction with operators regarding basic care program. Sporadic informal communications with operators regarding basic care. Supervisors interact with operators once per shift. Formal written communications and feedback from Supervisors. Supervisors drive continuous improvement of process to ensure business objectives are met.
Verbal feedback only when significant problems occur. Physical review of basic care results performed to determine immediate needs. Team meetings held.  Past audit results actively reviewed with the group.
Active communications and training is the norm.

Routine Audits

No technical authority audits performed. Technical authority audits performed sporadically but not formal. Technical authority audits performed sporadically. Technical authority audits performed monthly. Technical authority audits performed monthly.
No written results. Formal written reports issued to the team. Written feedback provided to the team. Written feedback provided to the team.
Technical authority not actively involved in the program. Consists primarily of verbal communications with personnel in the field at the time of the audit. No evidence of an effect on team performance. Little evidence of the team responding to the results of the audit. Supervisors actively review audits with the team.
Evidence exists that audits drive continuous improvement.


 Work area methods are not consistently followed and are undocumented.  The workgroup has documented agreements for needed items,    organization, and work area controls. The workgroup has documented agreements on visual controls, labeling of items, and required quantities of needed items. Reliable methods and standards for housekeeping, daily inspections, and workplace arrangement are documented and followed by all members of the work group. Reliable methods and standards for housekeeping, daily inspections, and workplace arrangement are shared and are used throughout similar work areas.
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