Best practices for Safety Inspections

Inspections are vital to any workplace safety program, but they can be difficult to get right. There are a lot of things to consider when planning and conducting a safety inspections, and it can be tough to know where to start.

In this post, we’ll discuss some best practices for EHS inspections. First, let’s review why inspections are essential to your larger safety mission.

Why are safety inspections important?

  • Safety inspections help you proactively identify potential hazards in the workplace. By identifying hazards, you can take steps to mitigate or eliminate them, thus making your workplace safer for everyone.
  • Inspections help ensure that safety procedures are followed. This is important for maintaining compliance, and also for preventing injuries to your team members.
  • Inspections send the message that safety is a priority for the company, and strengthens your safety culture.
  • A detailed inspection report or inspection certificate can provide valuable documentation in the event of an accident or injury. This documentation can help mitigate liability.
  • Inspections help track and monitor follow-up activities from previous inspections. This allows you to see if the hazards that were identified have been adequately addressed, and it also allows you to identify any new hazards that may have arisen since then.


Best practices for effective inspections

  1. Plan ahead

The first step in any successful safety inspection project is planning. You’ll need to decide who will conduct the inspection, what areas will be inspected, and the inspection’s timeframe.

When choosing the personnel or team to conduct the inspections, be sure to select individuals who are qualified and have the necessary training. The team should also be familiar with the workplace and know what to look for during the inspection.

It’s also a good idea to develop an inspection checklist. A safety inspection checklist will help ensure that all areas are covered, and nothing is missed during the inspection.

  1. Communicate with employees

After planning for the inspection, let employees know what to expect. Describe when and why an inspection will take place and what areas will be covered. It’s also a good idea to let employees know they are free to point out any hazards they see during the inspection.

On-site employees are often the best source of information about potential hazards. Making them a part of your inspection is a bonus to your inspection team.

  1. Apply a standard – and stick to it

When conducting EHS inspections, be sure to examine all areas of the workplace thoroughly. Ensure every area listed on the checklist you created in the first tip (planning) is ticked.

Take note of any unsafe conditions or practices you see, and document everything.

If possible, take photos or videos of any hazards that you see. This can be helpful in following up on the hazard later and can also provide valuable documentation if there is an accident or injury.

Consider adopting safety standards such as those published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and/or the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Adopting safety standards in inspections ensures you conduct your inspections, for example, OSHA inspections, in a standardized manner and fosters compliance with the laid down rules and regulations.

  1. Review the data

Analyzing the data also makes it easy to generate reports which can be shared with management. Doing so helps improve communication and accountability within the organization.

  1. Implement corrective actions

Move quickly to  correct any identified hazards.

This could involve anything from implementing new safety procedures to repairing damaged equipment. It’s also important to follow up with employees to ensure that they understand the new procedures and are following them correctly.

  1. Schedule regular follow-ups

Follow-ups help to ensure that the corrective actions are effective and that no new hazards have cropped up. And if the risk seems to persist, a follow-up inspection may identify the root cause.

Go digital with ProcessMAP

Safety inspections can be overwhelming, especially if you are dependent in whole or in part on spreadsheets, paper checklists, and manual steps.

Get ProcessMAP EHS software to automate and streamline all your safety inspection projects. The product’s flexibility empowers you to automate tasks, centralize data, visualize risks, and document corrective actions in less time, and with greater accuracy, than ever before.

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