Safety inspections: What are they and how can you make them more effective?
Safety inspection (also called safety audit) is an on-site monitoring aimed at identifying potential problems that could jeopardize the health and safety of workers at workplaces or buildings.
It is mostly carried out by a safety specialist and usually involves checklists, which help the inspectors in assessing every potential issue. Every step of the inspection process must be carefully documented.
Safety inspections can differ in form based on the environment in which they are done. A safety inspection can be done to check vehicle safety, industrial plants, or office buildings.
Inspections can be announced in advance or not, i.e., be a surprise inspection. In case it’s announced, organizations have a chance to fix things that might not pass the inspection.
However, a surprise inspection can give inspectors a more accurate picture of the typical condition of the assessed area.
Following the inspection, the responsible person (personnel, supervisor, building coordinator, etc.) is contacted to correct the damages. These corrections can prevent potential future injuries, incidents, and more severe property damages.
There are several types of inspections, such as:
- Safety tours = general inspection of the workplace.
- Safety sampling = detailed and thorough inspection of dangerous activities, areas, or processes.
- Safety surveys = general inspection of dangerous activities, areas, or processes.
- Incident inspections = examining potential causes of accidents and/or injuries.
Benefits of safety inspections at a workplace:
- Increases employee satisfaction, as regular checks give employees an increased sense of safety.
- Companies can save money: when assessing the condition of equipment, inspectors can point out when something needs repair, even if only a minor one. Otherwise, a piece of equipment might be in use for a longer time until the damage is noticed, which in the end results in higher costs for repair. Not even mentioning the potential risk a piece of damaged equipment may mean for the employees.
- By preventing injuries, a company can also prevent related lawsuits, which again, in the end, can save them a lot of money.
- Regular inspections create a high-performance safety culture across the workplace.
Why are safety inspections so important?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents, which account for 15% of all accidental deaths per year, the second-leading cause behind motor vehicles.”
How often should safety inspections be performed?
The frequency of inspections can vary depending on the workplace but carrying out a risk assessment is a great way to identify it. A risk assessment is a systematic method of looking at work activities, considering what could go wrong, and deciding on suitable control measures.
If inspections are carried out monthly, but issues are rarely found, it is probably enough to do it every two or three months. However, if issues are found during every inspection, you should definitely do them more often.
Safety inspection legislation
Legislation nearly all around the world places a duty on employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees at the workplace. In general, employers must provide training, instruction, information, supervision, a safe workplace, safe entry and exit, safe machinery, equipment, and methods of work.
Regularly performing inspections can help you identify whether your local legislative requirements are being met.
How to make the most out of your safety inspections?
Time is money, and this is especially true when it comes to inspections. Safety inspections are extremely important but can also be very time-consuming. Therefore, a crucial question to ask before setting up your inspection processes is: How can you make it as time- and resource-efficient as possible?
The answer? Turn the power of technology to your advantage. Replace the paper-based inspection processes with a digital solution, making the flow of information much faster and simpler.
Machines, materials, methods, and even people can fail – and they do fail regularly. That’s why regular inspections are a must. This is especially true for manufacturing plants and factories, where the risk of accidents is the highest. In an environment where inspections are performed on a daily basis, making them time-efficient is essential.
Resco Inspections features, such as snapping pictures, scanning product codes, image recognition, and voice control can help you speed up the safety inspection process, while also reducing related costs.
Another critical challenge in modern manufacturing is that the documents are paper-based, which results in endless piles of paper that need to be archived or transcribed into digital format.
Resco Inspections makes your inspection processes more effective by enabling you to have all your data in one centralized hub straightaway – making it easier and quicker to keep track of all collected information.
Furthermore, it gives you more control over the entire safety inspection process – it allows you to design, schedule, execute, and analyze all your forms and processes.
Resco Inspections helps to ensure not only the safety of workers but that of the inspectors too. Their hands can be free as they don’t have to carry the paper forms with themselves everywhere, allowing them to fully focus on their work.