Managing one of your most critical utility systems' assets

​While most of the time your Emergency Power Supply System (EPSS) stands by to provide coverage in the event of a power outage/disruption, as most of you know, it takes a lot of care and feeding (so to speak) to ensure that your EPSS is ready to go to work at a moment’s notice—or less. There is a sequence of inspection, testing & maintenance (ITM) that ranges from weekly inspection and maintenance activities through monthly, semi-annual, and annual activities to those critical triennial 4-hour tests to ensure that your organization won’t be left in the dark should the power go out.

This week, I happened upon some useful information regarding the importance of properly maintaining diesel fuel, particularly as a function of polishing fuel that is stored over time (sometimes in substantial quantities). Given the current state of fuel costs, anything that can be done to prolong the useful life of this critical resource is something to be carefully considered. Fortunately, the good folks at the Motor and Generator Institute invest a lot of effort into ensuring that the community at large has a clear understanding of the basic tenets of maintaining emergency power equipment, and a recently published article provides an excellent primer on the ins and outs of managing stored fuel. Nobody wants to be in a position where there is an emergency power system failure because of contaminated fuel.

About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with Chartis Clinical Quality Solutions (formerly known as The Greeley Company) in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Healthcare Safety Leader. Contact Steve at

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Environment and Facilities