Inspections. We are all told to do them no matter what industry we are in. And it is very easy to be complacent but as we have seen from recent incidents, such as the engine blow out on Southwest Airlines, inspections are of vital importance. Safety inspections can serve a greater purpose than simply meeting compliance requirements.
Workplace inspections are a vital part of injuring prevention. Such inspections help to prevent injuries, illnesses and property damage. Thorough inspections help identify hazards so that any corrective actions can take place before there is an incident. OSHA requires companies to keep employees safe ‘from any recognizable hazards” that could cause death or are likely to cause serious harm. Most companies perform regular inspections as a part of their safety and health plan.
Safety audits and inspections have been proven to reduce the number of accidents which benefits employees, employers and customers. Be proactive. Don’t wait until there is an accident to make changes. If you need assistance in performing audits and inspections, contact us at ReSolve.
Here are some reasons you should conduct inspections regularly:
- To determine if your Safety and Health program and procedures are effective
- To check the safety of your workplace and equipment
- To verify your processes are in compliance with company policy
- To very compliance with OSHA regulations
- To discover and identify any potential hazards
- To evaluate the employees’ and supervisors’ safety training and performance
During an inspection, look at all elements of the workplace, the people, equipment and tools, the environment and any processes. Pay particular attention to any items that are more likely to develop into an unsafe or unhealthy condition due to wear, vibration, heat, corrosion, wear, chemical reaction or misuse. Use a checklist to know what all needs to be inspected. Include instructions on how to perform the inspections thoroughly. High hazard or high-risk areas should receive extra attention.
Look for all types of workplace hazards. Look for safety hazards such as unsafe work practices, inadequate machine guards, chemical hazards, ergonomic hazards, and physical hazards such as vibration, noise, weather, heat or cold.
Be sure those given the responsibility to perform inspections are familiar with the regulation and procedures, and the potential hazards. Train them on the hazards and the risks if a piece of equipment isn’t in good condition or working properly. Understanding the why is vital to an individual taking this responsibility seriously and being thorough.
Here are some basic principles to inspections:
- Shut down or “lock out” any equipment or hazardous items
- Do not operate equipment. If there is a need for demonstration, ask the operator to demonstrate any functions. Always wear the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) and take any necessary safety precautions.
- Understand the hazards associated with the operation of different pieces of equipment.
- Be methodical and thorough. Don’t do a simple “once over glance”. You could miss something
- Clearly describe any hazards or faulty/failed pieces of equipment on your notes.
- Ask questions to workers. They will be a valuable tool in understanding processes and potential hazards.
- Don’t rely on your senses alone. You may need to monitor the equipment, measure the level of exposure to noise, radiation or chemical agents.
- Take photograph if necessary
Document any need for training or education, corrective action, or insights for why incidents are occurring. If corrective actions are needed, make sure all necessary parties are informed.
Safety inspections and audits are a valuable tool in keeping everyone safe. They assist companies in being compliant and preventing injuries and property damage. Don’t wait till it’s too late; Prevent the accident.
Contact us today to receive a free comprehensive 500 point inspection audit.