Regularly scheduled maintenance stops are conducted in the manufacturing industry to ensure quality and safety in the work environment, to meet regulatory requirements and to minimize the risk for unforeseen and costly downtime. The next planned maintenance stop at LKAB will take place on July 15th in Malmberget. The risk and impact assessment for the maintenance stop will be augmented with local measures to minimize the risk for the spread of covid-19.
About 90 contractors will work during the twelve-hour summer stop in the sorting and concentrating plants in Malmberget on July 15th. Some 10–15 persons are from nearlying municipalities, for example, Kiruna. “As always, but especially now in corona times, we have close dialogue with the maintenance contractors to ensure that we have a sustainable structure for the maintenance stop and that all conditions exist for compliance with LKAB’s guidelines when they are working in our facilities,” says David Alldén, acting manager for the process plants in Malmberget.As with all planned downtime for maintenance, a risk and impact assessment is always prepared. This year, a much broader approach has been taken to current measures due to the prevailing pandemic and the spread of infection that flared up in Gällivare municipality in early June.
Based on the Swedish Public Health Agency’s recommendations, further local measures are planned for the twelve-hour stop. Great emphasis is placed on creating conditions for maintaining good hand hygiene through extra toilets, extra sinks, distribution of bottles of disinfectant and provide more frequent cleaning.The different working groups are kept separate in the plants and each company has its own rest areas. Current directives are communicated to all concerned both before and during the stop. Safety officers, supervisors and fire brigades make safety rounds inside and outside the plants.“LKAB´s planned maintenance stops are decisive for our ability to operate our facilities safely. Our mission is to ensure that operationss can continue to be conducted while we take the pandemic very seriously and work hard together to slow down the spread of infection,” says David Alldén.