Workplace inspections refer to checking the area and nature of work, ascertain that everything is in the best possible condition, and doesn’t pose as any threat to any employee or asset in any way. Nowadays, workplace inspections are in process by many organizations.
Usually, the health and safety legislation on various levels of government makes it mandatory for employers to carry out workplace inspections regularly. These inspections are necessary to avail because they been termed compulsory by the government. It speaks of the moral obligations of the health and safety management of the organizations. The purpose of these inspections is to identify any potential or actual threat and take the necessary safety measures to control the situation.
Discussed below is the purpose, importance, procedure, and benefits of workplace inspection.
Why are workplace inspections adequate?
Workplace inspections are useful because they let the inspecting team talk to the workers and supervisors. This enables them to voice their concerns. It also makes the management team understand the nature and demands of the job and reinforce the duties of the workers.
The inspection team identifies any potential health and safety hazards, and the professionals conducting the inspection can know the underlying cause of these hazards. This helps in eliminating the root cause, which ensures that nothing like this would ever happen in the future. The team can then take the required safety measures to correct the purpose of the actual or potential hazard.
How to plan for the inspection:
Every action needs detailed planning. By dividing the preparation into two categories, we create a simple way of understanding.
- What to inspect: The basics of every inspection must revolve around who, where, when, how, and why. Keep a close check on elements that may be detrimental to the health of the environment, people, and items. Study the apparent aspects like stress, wear and tear, impact, vibration, chemical reaction, misuse, heating, and corrosion. All these elements may impact the workplace and employee’s health and pose a threat to them. The areas where usually no work is done and occasional footfall are high should also be considered and examined — for example, parking lots, locker rooms, storage areas, and restrooms.
- Elements for inspection: Inspect the significant aspects of the workplace like the environment, equipment, and the happenings Hazards like noise, heating, vibration, lighting, and ventilation should be looked out for. The material refers to all the tools and machinery used in the workplace. Check the equipment to see if any repairs or upgrades are needed. The process means how the workers carry out their tasks using other elements. Monitor closely that no part harms the workers in any way and vice versa.
Types of Hazards to look for while inspecting the workplace
Some of the workplace hazards include:
- Biological hazards caused by organisms like fungi, bacteria, parasites
- Chemical hazards that are due to fumes, dust, mist, vapors, liquid, gas, and solid
- Safety hazards occur due to the absence of safety guards fro machines, unsafe workplace conditions, and practices
- Psychosocial hazards occur because of mental issues like stress, overwork, violence, and bullying
- Physical hazards caused by heat, vibration, noise, lighting, electricity
- Ergonomical hazards caused due to inappropriate placement and design of work equipment and environment
Data required or the inspection:
Before carrying out the inspection process, it is necessary to acquire the following data:
Map of the workplace: It helps in discovering which areas need more focus and what kind of hazards to look for in particular areas.
List of the equipment: This helps in gathering data about the material before the inspection. It also tells about the age of the equipment and how regularly the maintenance is carried out.
List of hazardous products or chemicals: This tells you about the presence of any chemicals or other dangerous elements present on-site and how to check them for their required safety measures.
Benefits of the Inspection.
There are many benefits to carrying out regular workplace inspections.
- When an organization carries out a regular inspection at the workplace, it shows how responsible it is towards the safety and health of its workers. This organization earns respect and loyalty amongst the employees, and there is an increase in its credibility.
- It helps in identifying any health or safety hazards at the right time.
- Safety measures can then be taken to eliminate the hazards and deal with the situation.
- A stitch in time saves nine. A hazard identified at the right time may be easy to handle and may protect the organization from a massive loss in the future.
- It helps in improving the efficiency and productivity of the workplace. Elements hindering the workflow and slowing productivity can be visible and replaced with better options.
- When an organization shows its care towards its employees, it is bound to receive the same in the form of loyalty and hard work.
- Regular inspection will save you from penalties for not complying with the laws as laid down by the government.
- When the employees are happy and content, they can work freely and give 100% to their work.
What should be the frequency of workplace inspections?
There is no formula or set of rules for deciding how frequently the inspections should take place at the workplace. The main idea of these inspections is to keep the place free from actual and potential hazards. Every workplace should have a schedule for these inspections. The plan should indicate:
- When to carry out the inspection of the area and which items to examine?
- Who will supervise the inspection?
- The detail with which the inspection needs to be carried out
The frequency of the inspection depends on many factors, such as:
- As stated in the legislation.
- Record of the past incidents, if any.
- The potency of hazards with regards to the machinery and equipment
- New processes or machinery.
A safe workplace needs timely inspection, identification, and solution to the potential and actual hazards. A safe environment promises maximum productivity and loyal and happy workers.