The Ultimate Equipment Restoration Checklist

Jun 8, 2020, 1:56 PM

We have the tool you need to get your tools ready for work.

Here in Michigan, some industries were finally allowed back to work through May and now into June, like construction, manufacturing, and lawn care. Others, of course, were always working, such as restaurants, grocery stores, and, of course, hospitals. Everyone here at Hastings Mutual was working too, though many of our jobs were done from home, and we had strong health and safety measures in place for the people that had to head into the office.

Some companies that shut down in mid-March are starting to open up again now or will open over the next few weeks. That’s two months or more that their equipment has been idle, just waiting to be turned back on. But restarting industrial equipment like a metal stamper or a lathe calls for more than just flipping a power switch. 

We’ve created guidelines and a checklist to get your equipment back up and running safely. They’re available right on our exclusive page for helping our policyholders and others during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Equipment Restoration

Even if you don’t own a business, our checklist is a good tool for any shutdown, like when the power goes out in a storm this summer. It’s divided into three sections:


You might be able to see if a piece of equipment will work correctly with just a quick glance. Some of this simple maintenance you probably do each time the equipment is used but taking the time to refresh the equipment now means you really are prepared to start up again.

  1. Look at the wiring (even the plug into the wall), the bolts and screws holding it together, and fluid levels. 
  2. You probably have the OEM manual available for reference, but if it’s missing, just head online to the manufacturer’s website for a download. 
  3. Wipe down and lubricate the equipment. 
  4. If you need a specialized tool to operate or maintain the equipment, make sure it’s close at hand and in good condition itself. 


Sure, our entire checklist is dedicated to making your workplace safe, but you’ll want to be prepared before you ever try to cut, drill, or even turn on your device. 

  1. Is there a shutdown sequence ready before you start up? Your employees need to know what to do if something goes wrong, to stop the equipment and secure any hazardous materials. 
  2. Maybe the most obvious safety measure you can put in place is guards: metal or plastic barriers that can deflect a loose piece of scrap or some other object flying at the operator. 
  3. Check emergency lights and the equipment’s controls to be sure they’re functional too. 
  4. Some equipment can be programmed to operate automatically. Safety precautions like interlock switches can help.

In Operation 

Once the equipment is in working order, it’s important to keep a close eye on it in case there's a problem you didn’t see at first. 

  1. Look at wires and hoses and confirm that the noise, vibration, and heat from the equipment is what you would expect. Too much or too little is an indication that something might be wrong.
  2. After you stop using the equipment, double-check that fluid levels are still appropriate and that the equipment isn’t burning fuel.
This checklist isn’t just for getting your business back in shape after COVID-19. You can use it every time your facility restarts to be sure you’re ready to get to work.

Questions? Let us know in the comments. 

The Mutual Understanding blog and Hastings Mutual videos are made available for educational purposes only. The information referred to is not an official company statement, corporate policy, or offer of coverage. Refer to your insurance policy for specific coverage. There is no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information found by following any link on this site. Please contact your local independent insurance agent with further questions and for more details on any insurance policy-related information you read here.

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