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Prioritizing Work in Facilities

Dude Solutions
  • Jun 18, 2013
  • 3 minutes

A common question I've heard over the years is "how do we prioritize our work?" Many of us realize safety is a higher priority over other work needs such as cleanliness, day-to-day operations, politics and the original intentions of our funding sources, but what about the rest of what we manage?  Looking for examples to utilize as a standard?  The following can be used as a guideline and modified for your environment to help you prioritize work orders if you don't have a current process in place: 

Emergency Priorities - Requires immediate attention 

  • Fire, health and life safety hazards 

  • Equipment disruption (Work to prevent the catastrophic failure of campus equipment to the continuance of the institution's mission) 

  • For those with Residence Halls: requests that have an immediate impact on the residents 

  • Examples of Urgent Work Orders (you may consider using "Safety" as a priority in MaintenanceDirect) 

    • Safety and health hazards – Life-threatening 

    • Preservation of real property assets (critical flooding, roof failure, etc.) 

    • Total power failure/significant loss of power to the facility 

    • No lights, power or water 

    • Flood broken pipes 

    • Overflowing plumbing fixtures 

    • Parking structure, lot or circulation road lights out 

    • Walkway lights out 

    • Emergency janitorial (i.e. water extraction, health hazard) 

    • Fire, smoke or smell of smoke 

    • Gas leaks or smell of gas leaks 

    • Total HVAC system failure 

    • No air conditioning or heat in rooms with sensitive equipment or research 

    • Hot/cold call 

    • Loss of power to a fan unit or other piece of equipment 

    • Loss of power to a classroom or research area either in the form of no lights or no power to power receptacles 

    • Broken windows, doors, gates, locks making it impossible to secure the area 

    • Elevator "stuck" with someone on board 

    • Response to weather emergencies and/or natural disasters 

  • Previously assigned work orders as per the following scheduled: 

    • High priority work orders more than four (4) working weeks old 

    • Medium priority work orders more than eight (8) working weeks old 

    • Low priority work orders more than twelve (12) working weeks old 

    • High Priority (3-5 days): Important Work Orders in which the work can be scheduled. 

Examples of High Priority Work Orders: 

  • Refrigeration issues (cafeteria) 

  • Minor roof leak 

  • Minor water leaks 

  • Repair of a drinking fountain 

  • Door repair where security is not an issue 

  • Inspections 

  • Janitorial complaints 

  • Electrical circuit failure 

  • Air filter change 

  • Temperature/comfort issues 

  • Odors 

  • Significant landscape issues 

  • Significant trip hazards 

  • Other Residence Hall work 

  • Previously assigned work orders as per the following schedule: 

    • A request more than six weeks old made by a department 

    • Medium priority work orders more than four (4) working weeks old 

    • Low priority 4 work orders more than four (4) working weeks old. 

Medium Priority (5-15 days) 

Generally, those that involve the performance of preventive maintenance activities: 

  • Examples: 
    • Filter replacement 

    • Coil cleaning 

    • Tightening connections on breaker panels 

    • Mechanical/electrical area cleaning 

    • Landscape clean up 

    • Pest Control issues 

    • Non-critical lock and key requests 

    • Lamp replacement of 2 or more adjacent task lights (or sole source of light) 

    • Trip hazards 

    • Furniture or carpet cleaning (significant stains in contact areas) 

    • Signage or general lighting requests 

  • Low Priority work orders more than two (2) working weeks old

Low Priority (15+ days)

Generally, those outside of the normal maintenance of campus such as time and materials work requests, usually not related to the maintenance of campus buildings, building systems, and utilities. 

  • Examples of Low Priority Work Orders: 

    • Roof drain and gutter cleaning 

    • Request to install an electrical outlet for an office 

    • Request to install lighting in new construction 

    • Install shelving 

    • Hang pictures 

    • Paint an office not in need of maintenance painting 

    • Non-critical furniture repairs 

    • Damage and cosmetic repair to non-critical equipment 

    • Janitorial requests (non-emergency) 

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