Workplace safety inspections are integral to maintaining a good level of health and safety for your employees. They help to prevent incidents where there is a risk of injury or illness. More specifically, they help you to identify processes and potential hazards that can be harmful to workers as well as make decisions on appropriate precautions for each potential risk.
A workplace safety inspection is the process of assessing the workplace for hazards and risks that have the potential to cause injury or illness. Workplace inspections should be a continuing process that play an active role in a business’ health and safety strategy in order to monitor and mitigate hazards in the workplace while ensuring compliance with health and safety standards.
The way a workplace inspection is carried out can vary depending on the environment, because of this, the best way to complete the inspection and what needs to be included in the inspection should be agreed beforehand.
If safety inspections have been carried out in the past it can be helpful to review the reports as they can provide helpful insights into what has been identified in the past. This can be particularly helpful in assessing how effective certain safety precautions have been at mitigating risk in the workplace.
For the most part, completing the inspection simply requires you to walk around the premises and identify any potential health and safety hazards and then record them in a notebook or on a checklist.
The main hazards that should be included as part of the inspection include things such as slips, trips, and fall hazards. Less obvious hazards, such as faulty or damaged electrical equipment, can also be included. Unsafe practices should also make up a section of the inspection report. In this section you should include observations such as not wearing the appropriate PPE when required.
The frequency that safety inspections need to be completed varies depending on the type of work that takes place on the premises. For example, a low risk environment such as an office would not need to complete inspection as often as a construction site. The person or group who is responsible for the risk assessment and carrying out inspections should set an appropriate amount of time in which a safety inspection should be completed in.
There are a number of people who can carry out the inspection such as; third parties which can include insurers, health and safety consultants or specialist inspectors. However, you shouldn’t depend on third party inspectors to complete the inspection and should complete and internal report which can be completed by an employee, supervisor or manager, or a team of people.
It’s essential to make sure that the people completing the inspection have adequate experience and expertise in order to be able to effectively identify workplace hazards and provide advice and solution on how to mitigate them.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 makes the employer responsible for ensuring the safety of employees in the workplace. This means that they must provide adequate;
Carrying out inspections can help ensure that these criteria are being met. The law also requires that certain inspections be completed regularly such as gas boiler safety checks, lifting equipment, and pressure vessels.
Inspections that are required by law must be completed by a ‘competent person’. This means the person undertaking the inspection must have suitable knowledge, experience, and training on the subject matter.
At Watson and Watson Health and Safety Consultants, we provide workplaces with the essential training and education they need to create a safe place of work. Regardless of whether you work in an office or a construction site, risk assessment training and site inspections are vital to keep your business and its people safe.
We also offer industry health and safety accreditations to ensure staff and management can demonstrate and apply the necessary safety measures as expected by qualified and authoritative bodies.
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