Benefits of Adopting an EHS Inspection Checklist
Today, there is no question about whether a well-designed safety management strategy is needed for your organization. Apart from being a regulatory requirement, it is essential to ensure the safety of the workers and the environment for –
- Improved employee engagement and productivity
- Reduce the cost of safety (CoS) due to injuries, illnesses, death, or damage to property and the environment
- Better reliability on your company and brand
- Overall business and financial performance
The questions one must ask, rather, are: How well has the safety management program been implemented? Is it data-driven? Is it audited on a regular basis to spot systemic gaps and improve? Can it be proactive and preventive as well, rather than being reactive after an incident? Is there a way you can conduct periodic inspections – at the site level and company level – to spot challenges & risks?
Tracking and monitoring the effectiveness of the safety program is just as important as implementing it. Continuous Improvement is the key!
Need for Safety Inspections
One of the important methods of monitoring and ensuring safety is safety inspections. It helps to ensure that the safety programs are being effectively used by the employees for the purpose they were designed. Safety management should be compliant with the organization’s policies as well as the applicable safety regulations for the industry and the country it operates in.
Findings from safety inspections must be documented with clarity – as they form the core of safety data and are also required to demonstrate compliance. Inspections provide a visual confirmation of workplace safety measures, while also enabling the process of spotting gaps in the safety process/workflow, behavioral challenges, safety training gaps, etc.
Safety inspections are a systematic and thorough physical investigation of workplace conditions, along with documenting any hazards or unsafe practices.
A well-designed inspection is focused and planned with clear goals. For instance, a safety inspection can be scheduled only for equipment-related safety across all manufacturing locations of a company. Another inspection may be scheduled to identify safety training lapses. The goal is to go deep and analyze what’s missing.
The Need for Safety Inspection Checklists
Using safety inspection checklists will ensure that the inspections are conducted correctly – making sure everything from unsafe practices, hazards, process gaps, and known risks are documented for taking corrective actions (CAs).
Documentation of findings from a safety inspection is the first step toward building a better safety culture.
Some of the key benefits of using EHS inspection checklists include:
- Conducting Inspections in an Organized Manner: Inspections involve several steps and checking many details, big and small. It might be possible for something to be forgotten or overlooked. The inspection activities and findings also need to be documented, which can be challenging for the inspectors. The oversight or incomplete reports could pose a real health hazard at worst, or lead to issues of noncompliance. A checklist helps the inspectors ensure all the aspects that need to be checked are covered and improve the efficiency of the inspections.
- Improving Employee Involvement: One of the requirements of regulatory bodies such as Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulations for workplace safety is that the employees should also participate in safety management and be made accountable. This makes safety management a joint responsibility of employees and leaders to keep themselves and their co-workers safe. Clearly displayed and accessible checklists will be constant reminders for everyone to follow safety procedures diligently and minimize risks and near misses. Wherever there is a gap, it will be easy to identify and correct.
- Sharing Safety Procedures: Safety management should be transparent and the processes shared with all employees. Checklists act as one form of communication regarding workplace health and safety. It helps to inculcate a culture of safety, minimize events, and empower employees with information on how to be safe and well on the premises.
- Enhancing Brand Reputation: In today’s globalized world of instant communication, simple things like checklists communicate the organization’s commitment to workers’ health and safety. They assure employees that their safety is of importance to their employers and improves safety process quality, employee engagement, productivity, and brand reputation. They also improve the organization’s confidence about the workplace is safe and lowers the risk of accidents.
- Documentation for Compliance: The checklists also demonstrate compliance with regulatory authorities should anything go wrong and there be an accident. The checklists can be submitted to prove that inspections were conducted diligently and that mitigative measures were put in place.
- Check for machine guards
- The condition of the machine
- How it is being used
- Assess training for machine use
- Whether there is a first aid kit easily accessible in case of an accident
- Whether the worker knows what to do in case of machine malfunctioning
- Whether it is kept clean
What Should the Safety Inspection Checklist Contain?
A robust and effective safety inspection process should contain the following steps:
Planning: Decide on the periodicity of the inspections, create a schedule, and prepare an itinerary.
Assign Tasks: A team to conduct the safety inspection and the roles and responsibilities of each member should be decided based on the skills and safety requirements of the organization.
Create a Checklist: Based on the tasks, create a checklist for each to help the inspectors perform their duties to the utmost satisfaction, without missing any of the checks they need to perform.
Data Analysis: Analyze the data collected during the inspections to identify gaps, determine the controls needed to mitigate the risks, and take proactive, preventive action to prevent events.
Conduct Periodic Follow-Ups: The role of inspections does not end after the corrective actions have been taken. Follow-up action should be conducted to ensure that the issues have been addressed and that the changes are delivering the desired result – of making the workplace safer. Stakeholders and management should be kept informed of the impact for continuous improvement of safety management.
Each step should be broken into further tasks and a checklist for each task should be created. It should capture all the key aspects of that task to ensure comprehensive coverage. For instance, if the checklist is for machinery inspection, it should include steps such as:
ComplianceQuest to Automate the Process of Managing Safety Inspection Checklists
ComplianceQuest, a cloud-based Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) solution provider, enables the end-to-end automation of safety inspections right – including planning, conducting, and following up on safety inspections. The solution enables safety leaders and managers to manage inspection data, forms, and checklists from its automated and modern EHS solution to make the process smooth and safe. It also provides several safety-inspections-related checklists that can be downloaded and customized for different purposes and industries.
Visit https://www.compliancequest.com/checklist/top-5-essential-safety-inspection/ to download the most comprehensive set of safety inspection checklists for your organization.