Workplace inspections form an important part of the safety framework of an organization, helping to prevent perilous injuries and illnesses by bringing hazards to the fore. There are myriad factors that must be considered while carrying out workplace inspection, from considering employees’ concerns and evaluating past reported incidents to reviewing existing hazard controls. All these factors can be broadly classified into three key categories: environment, equipment, and process flow. While the environment encompasses elements like lighting, temperature, sound, and ventilation, process flow pertains to the relationship between employees and environmental fixtures during work-related tasks.
Workplace Inspection Programs
A workplace inspection program may vary depending on the type of office environment it is conducted in. Where in a factory, the study of equipment, startup processes, motion flows, exhausts and emissions may be relevant, a deskbound office may require the review of soft lighting, posture support, leakages, temperature control, and air circulation. Inspections could be weekly or monthly, depending on the degree of risk associated with your workplace.
If you’re not familiar with workplace inspection programs, allow us to run you through its components.
Focus Areas During an Inspection
The way you choose to approach your workplace safety program could be influenced by multiple things: movement within the cubicles, airflow across the office, obstructions and free space in the passageway. You may further classify each subject into subcategories to perform a broad-spectrum, comprehensive survey. Focus areas you may want to consider are:
- Unaddressed elements highlighted in a previous report
- Evident unsafe work procedures
- Dangerous safety breaches; obstructions in front of an emergency exit or staircase, known possibility of an electrical short circuit, absence of a sign on wet floors, inadequately leveled banisters
- Quality control of safety equipment
- Tasks to Perform During an Inspection
- As a first step, identify hazardous zones, practices, and processes capable of resulting in injury or illness
- Create a checklist to standardize your inspection across departments and practices
- Consider potential hazards likely to arise in the future as a result of current or future operations
- Observe a complete workday to gain a snapshot of operations from a safety and wellbeing standpoint
- Talk to employees about day-to-day operations and safety checks they would recommend
- Make a note of control measures, from both observation and recommendation
Review Measures After an Inspection
- Address perilous hazards or protocols at the earliest; for instance, if you find that your emergency exits are all blocked by storage or cleaning equipment, organize a task force to clear out all blockages at once
- Rank review measures in order of priority and delegate those that are less important
- Institute a review process for longer-drawn action items that are expected to take an extended timeline to complete
- Cascade your inspection report to employees, to relay the importance of safety and to highlight revised safety protocols
Workplace hazards are ubiquitous and can strike when you least expect them. A systematic workplace safety program can mitigate workplace risks and encircle employees in health and safety. Remember to invite employees’ participation when building change into your system. With constructive inputs and consistent observation, you can create a superior prevention program that forms the cornerstone of your employees’ wellbeing.
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