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Many of us remember the pictures of birds covered in oil after the Exxon Valdez disaster and those of us living in Florida are acutely aware of the fragile ecosystems that engulf the coastal waters. Mintek applauds all those volunteers and emergency workers dedicated to protecting our wildlife heritage. Spewing approximately 200,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, the latest oil spill also highlights why an EAMCMMS is a good idea for Hotels and Resorts to have in place before oil hits the beaches.

Hotel Inspections With a CMMS

Potential property damage for hotels goes beyond the cleanup of beaches as some of the damage may not be visible for several months or visible at all until there is equipment failure. It is critical that hotel preventive maintenance be done on Hotel assets to protect them from oil damage. Some examples of possible oil spill issues for resorts include:

Miami south beach at night with hotel buildings
  • Sea breezes may carry toxic fumes into Resort air filtration systems. Properly maintained filters on the HVAC systems should nullify the odor, the residual oils may gum up moving components of the system. Hotels and Resorts should be prepared to check filters regularly as well as inspect equipment for oil buildup.
  • Oil residue buildup on recreational facilities such as jet-ski’s, watercraft, parasailing, beach front pools. This equipment should be inspected more frequently for oil residues. Oil residues can dry out disrupting mechanical movements or can be tracked into pools directly from beach area contaminating pool quality. In addition, oil stains many surfaces, so now would be a good time to apply preventive coatings.
  • Suspended waterfront operations due to the proximity of the oil slick. The beaching of equipment is a great time to use your CMMS to schedule hotel preventive maintenance , inspect for corrosion or complete a work order. Every asset not in use for an extended period of time must be checked before subsequent consumer use.
  • Fire damage. I have seen more than one beachfront property with a sand ditch caused by the changing tide running from the ocean directly to the property and even touching a few buildings. This ditch can fill with oil. All fire extinguishing equipment and procedures should be double checked.
  • Remembering that oil is flammable. This may sound like a big DUH, but is good to check anything that has come in contact with the water and avoid drying out near open flames or heat sources.

Implementing an EAM/CMMS System

There are two things that Hotels and Resorts should not do. The first is to do nothing. Yes it might save you a few dollars now but if you are in the path of the oil slick you are going to look pretty darn bad when your maintenance and repair bills skyrocket. The second is not to panic. This is a great time to reeducate yourself on how to use your CMMS or to implement an EAM. An EAM/CMMS will help organize workflow, automate the scheduling of maintenance functions and record results. Inspections using handheld devices is easy as the handheld device can be preloaded with 6-8 questions about the asset and what to look for. Results are recorded on the handheld and then transmitted back to management for review or further action.

One little side note, according to nationalacadamies.org more than 29 million gallons of oil are released into the North American Oceans every year as a result of human activity and another 47 million per year through natural seepage from the sea floor. Globally these numbers in 2002 were 210 million and 180 million respectively. At a rate of 200,000 gallons per day, the gulf oil spill is significant with huge potential for long term local as well as global impact if not contained soon.

Share with us how your hotel is preparing for this disaster. And of course, if you have questions about how to set up an EAM/CMMS we would be happy to assist you.

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