To effectively monitor and maintain workplace safety, workplace inspections are crucial. It helps meet legal requirements and ensures that the necessary precautions are in place for all equipment and facilities, such as pressure vessels, lifts, cranes, chains, ropes, and scaffolds.
However, workplace inspections shouldn’t be limited to equipment alone. Other essential safety measures should also be covered, including premises usage, additional work areas, and work systems.
Well-designed workplace inspections should consider all potential risks and be tailored accordingly. For instance, monthly or bi-monthly general inspections can assess low-risk areas such as premises condition, lighting, welfare facilities, and first aid. On the other hand, high-risk areas require more frequent and thorough inspections, perhaps weekly or daily, and pre-use checks for mobile plant operations.
The inspection program must adhere to specific legal requirements and prioritise risk management. Schedules and performance standards can guide the frequency and content of inspections. Inspection forms or checklists can ensure consistency and provide records for follow-up action.
Competent inspectors should conduct inspections identifying relevant hazards and risks while assessing existing conditions.
To ensure a successful inspection program, a well-thought-out approach should include well-designed inspection forms, which can help identify and prioritise deficiencies and summary lists of remedial action to track progress on implementing improvements. Periodic analysis of inspection forms can also reveal underlying weaknesses in the system and provide valuable information for making any required changes to the inspection program’s frequency and nature.