Does a Safety inspection sound like something that you would rather ignore? Do you think to yourself Why do I even need a Safety inspection? Isn't everything safe as long people clean up after themselves? or are you wondering who can do one and when it needs to be done?
Let's start with the basics, Safety inspections are used to identify hazards (which can be categorized as Biological, Chemical, Ergonomic, Physical and Psychological) and address risks before injury or any other unwelcome side effects occur. To complete one, you will need a team of at least two or more people (up to however many people you think are necessary). The team should be made up of a person in charge of the area being inspected, someone with relevant qualifications to spot and assess hazards as well as a person from outside the company or area to help with identification and ensure clarity of vision.
So why should you conduct a safety inspection?
The most obvious reason is to minimize the risk of injury, illness or death in your workplace. The other reason is that your business could be at risk in a legal sense. If you do not have the correct documentation when having an audit of your work area/company. You will be considered in violation of your requirements to look after those on your worksite whether they are employees or visitors.
What does a safety inspection involve?
After assembling your team, a checklist will be required. A checklist is necessary to ensure that all areas have been checked and to make sure that no area is overlooked. A schedule for conducting the inspections needs to be created as does a list of responsibilities for those involved in the inspection as well as when and where. Aside from assessing a hazard and determining its underlying cause it is also important to reassess the successfulness of any other controls that have been put in place for previous hazards. Once it is complete the team has to document the identified hazards and the steps needed to manage them.
What happens after the inspection has been done?
This will vary depending on the hazard(s) that have been identified however a plan needs to be created. This will need to include a timeframe to remove/contain the hazard and the steps required to do so. This may mean adjusting the personal protective equipment used, making edges easier to see (such as with steps or high up ledges) or restricting access to experimental portal guns.
How often should it be done?
This will vary based on the risks of the area in question and the amount of change in the area. Inspection should be done at least once a year however areas of higher risk and change should be done more frequently.