The inspection process is a structured way to identify any hazards or deficiencies which could lead to an accident or injury. These self-inspections should be part of the monthly safety committee activities. Start by developing a list of buildings, parks, and structures etc. to inspect, and establish an appropriate schedule for these inspections. Then use an inspection tool to document the inspection results. LMCIT Loss Control has several customizable examples of checklists to use for the inspection process. Nearly all the items on the checklists have an underlying OSHA regulation.
A sub-group of committee members, typically two, conduct the inspections with the area manager and an employee representative. Based on its findings, the inspection team and/or safety committee will develop a list of corrective actions to reduce and eliminate any unsafe conditions that were identified. Ensure all hazards are corrected in a timely manner.
- Uncover unsafe conditions
- Help promote the safety program to workers
- Provide an additional set of eyes to identify hazards before an accident or injury occurs, and
- Help promote and encourage self-inspection by line supervisors and employees
- People conducting the inspection must be informed, through training or hands on experience, about typical operations and potential hazards in the inspected area.
- Determine which standards will apply
- Define the work area and plan the inspection route
- Review any previous inspections and results and look for any outstanding work orders
- Make or obtain a checklist to document the findings. This will serve as a guide for the inspectors.
- Inspect while employees are working if possible
- Stay focused and alert for hazards
- Take notes of all hazards and unsafe practices
- Check all areas
- Be constructive and don’t place blame
- Look for why conditions exist
- Be advisory not argumentative
- Discuss recommendations with supervisor or manager
- Try to sell your recommendation and the importance of any corrections.
The OSHA regulations, despite popular belief, have been developed over time from industry experience, past injury data, hazard analysis and scientific testing. They are developed to reduce hazards and prevent both acute and chronic injuries. The following is by no means a complete list but is a sample of the inspection points and the related safety regulations. These should be used as reference when conducting self-inspections.
By Paul Gladen
WALKING & WORKING SURFACES
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