How to Create a Preventive Maintenance Checklist (+ Examples)

How to Create a Preventive Maintenance Checklist (+ Examples)

Maintaining equipment and facilities is critical to ensuring their longevity and optimal performance. However, keeping track of all the maintenance tasks required for various machines and infrastructure can be challenging, especially in large organizations. 


Preventive maintenance checklists offer a solution to this problem by providing a comprehensive list of tasks that need to be performed regularly.


In this article, we will:


  • Explain what PM checklists are;
  • List their two main benefits; 
  • Share tips for creating effective PM checklists; 
  • Provide examples of checklists for different types of equipment and facilities.


Read on!

How to Create a Preventive Maintenance Checklist (+ Examples)

What is a Preventive Maintenance (PM) Checklist?

A preventive maintenance checklist is a comprehensive list of tasks that must be performed regularly to keep equipment, machines, and facilities operating at peak performance. 


The checklist contains details such as:


  • What needs to be checked;
  • When it needs to be checked;
  • Who is responsible for performing the inspection. 


PM checklists ensure that preventive maintenance tasks are performed consistently and serve as a record of maintenance activities.

What are the benefits of PM Checklists?

1. Following established standards


PM checklists ensure that maintenance tasks are performed according to established standards. Standards could be based on the manufacturer's recommendations, regulatory requirements, or best practices. By following established norms, maintenance personnel can be sure that they are performing the right tasks and doing them correctly.


2. Eliminating second-guessing


PM checklists eliminate second-guessing by providing clear instructions on what needs to be done. It provides a step-by-step guide for maintenance personnel to perform their tasks. This eliminates the need for guesswork, which can lead to mistakes and costly errors.

Four Tips for Creating a PM Checklist

1. Be Detailed but Concise


The PM checklist should be detailed enough to cover all the necessary maintenance tasks but concise enough to be easily understood and completed. It should also be organized in a logical manner, with related tasks grouped together.


2. Include Safety Measures


The PM checklist should include safety measures that need to be taken when performing maintenance tasks. Safety measures could include wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), shutting down machinery before performing maintenance tasks, and following lockout/tagout procedures.


3. Update Promptly


You should regularly update your PM checklist based on equipment changes, company growth, maintenance team issues, standard operating procedure updates, and production process updates. It is important to plan regular update sessions to coincide with these events. 


4. Make it Mobile


PM checklists should be easily accessible to maintenance personnel wherever they are. One way to do this is to make them mobile. This could be achieved using mobile apps or software that allow maintenance personnel to access the checklist on their devices.

Preventive Maintenance Checklist Examples

PM Checklist for machines

  • Check lubrication levels and add oil if necessary.
  • Inspect belts, chains, and pulleys for wear and tear.
  • Clean and inspect air filters.
  • Inspect electrical connections and make sure to tighten loose ones.
  • Test safety features, such as emergency stops and interlocks.
  • Calibrate machines regularly.


PM Checklist for material handling equipment


  • Inspect forks for cracks and bends.
  • Check hydraulic fluid levels and add fluid if necessary.
  • Inspect tires for wear and damage.
  • Inspect chains and bearings for wear and lubricate them if necessary.
  • Test safety features, such as brakes and emergency stops.


PM Checklist for facility infrastructure


  • Make sure that there is adequate space between machines.
  • Assure that warnings and safety zones are sufficiently marked.
  • Ensure that walkways, entrances, and exits remain clear of debris.
  • Secure wires properly and ensure that they are not a hazard.
  • Regularly inspect the railings on stairways and walkways.
  • Inspect roofs for leaks and damage.
  • Check HVAC filters and replace them if necessary.
  • Inspect electrical panels and breakers.
  • Test fire safety features, such as sprinkler systems and fire alarms.
  • Inspect plumbing fixtures for leaks and damage.
  • Assess external grounds, including parking facilities, for hazards.


Creating a preventive maintenance checklist is an essential task for any organization that aims to ensure the longevity of its equipment and assets while reducing downtime and costs. 


By following the steps outlined in this article, you can develop a comprehensive PM checklist that suits your specific needs and requirements. 


Don’t forget to involve relevant stakeholders, assess the criticality of equipment, set achievable goals, and establish a maintenance schedule.

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