Construction sites have a unique range of hazards. With high foot traffic, large machinery and constant activity, maintaining good health & safety in these environments are vital. Poorly maintained construction machinery and equipment poses a significant risk – both to worker safety and productivity. Here at Jay Bee Plant Sales, providing high-quality and reliable plant machines is our backbone to minimise injury in your workplace. So, in today’s blog post, we’ll work through 3 key risks that arise when your machines aren’t maintained properly or have a significant fault.

Downsides of Poor Maintenance Schedule

Construction machinery is inherently hazardous, even with continual employee training and caution. It becomes even more so when not properly taken care of, e.g not having regular servicing or maintenance checks. When this happens:

  • Small-scale damage or defaults may not be identified early on.
  • These can then escalate to more serious (and costly) repair.
  • Machinery becomes unsuitable for its purpose.
  • Machinery becomes dangerous to us, even with the right training.
  • There is a financial risk to businesses that have invested in the best machines.

3 Risks of Badly Maintained Construction Machines and Equipment

So what are the biggest risks linked to poorly maintained machinery?

Low-performance Brakes

Many large-scale construction machines are portable. Forklifts, excavators, dumpers, rollers and more – they all come with wheels and brakes. If these aren’t properly maintained or cared for – or, if they have an automatic fault created during manufacture, the risk of injury significantly increases. Brakes allow the driver to maintain control at all times. They are essential in all environments, but even more specifically on busy construction sites. You need to be able to leave a machine safely disengaged with the confidence that it won’t roll away. Poor brakes have the potential to cause damage to both employees and buildings in the surrounding area.


A collapse, concerning plant machinery, is when a machine buckles under the weight of its cargo. It normally occurs when a machine is overloaded (when the maximum load weight has not been abided by) or if a machine is old/poorly maintained and not suitable for the purpose. The problems here are numerous. A collapsed machine increases downtime while a suitable alternative is found. If an employee is working on or near the machine at the time of the collapse, there is a risk of injury. And, there is a financial implication to a large-scale machine being damaged in the middle of a construction project.


Poorly maintained or poorly manufactured plant machines are at a higher risk of malfunction. This will be relevant to the machine at hand. An excavator, for example, may lose its grip or drop a heavy item/load. The risks here range from worker injury through to increased downtime. Malfunction can be caused by everything from poor maintenance to manufacturer defaults and unidentified damage. Having a consistent and regular maintenance process in place ensures you can highlight the early signs of malfunction before it gets too serious.

To minimise these risks when working with plant machinery, the operator should ensure the machine in question is regularly serviced and repaired. All safety guidance should be available – specifically for new workers – and regular training should take place to ensure vigilance. At Jay Bee Plant Sales, we recognise that the risk of collapse, malfunction and poor brakes increases when you buy second hand. This is why we ensure that every single machine within our range has a full service, repair and check to guarantee its safety. That way, you can save money without compromising on the productivity, safety and reliability of your machines.