Preventative maintenance addresses possible issues before they occur, reducing the chances of unexpected equipment failure. Preventative maintenance includes cleaning, part replacement, and proper inspection of equipment to detect and subsequently correct problems before they become bigger problems. Acting in a preventative manner is proactive and can improve both equipment lifetimes and safety outcomes (learn more in How Proactivity in the Field Improves Worker Safety).
Reactive maintenance occurs after equipment has broken down, often unexpectedly. Unexpected equipment failure results in increased expenses such as more costly repairs, paid overtime to fix the equipment, and unplanned downtime.