Safety inspections are a natural part of the job for EHS managers. If you’ve been working in health and safety for any length of time, you may find that most inspections look and function the same, often without turning up anything too significant.
If you aren’t finding much out of line during your inspections, are you just wasting your time?
The short answer, of course, is no, but it’s important to understand why every safety inspection is important, even if you never find any issues.
Every Safety Inspection Should Be Treated the Same
Conducting safety inspections is a critical part of any health and safety program, and not just because you “have to.” In fact, it’s this complacency surrounding inspections that can cause them from being as effective as they can be.
Whether you’re conducting a specific inspection for the first time, or you’ve performed dozens of safety inspections throughout your career, it’s important to treat every inspection on an individual basis to give it the attention it deserves.
Safety isn’t just an idea driven by governing bodies and compliance standards. There must also be an innate desire to create a safe work environment for employees, contractors, and visitors. Safety inspections aren’t usually synonymous with fun, but at some point there should be a desire to conduct a helpful, accurate, thorough inspection that will yield the best possible outcome for everyone it affects.
How to Get Every Safety Inspection to Pay Off Big
Safety inspections aren’t a waste of time, nor do they have to feel like it.
If you want your inspections to pay off big every time, consider the following:
- Go into every inspection with a clear mind and fresh slate.
- Use a checklist to guide your inspection so that no detail falls through the cracks.
- If you’re using a company checklist, be sure you also follow government agency guidelines to remain in compliance. Not doing so could compromise the results of your inspections and leave you vulnerable to additional issues.
- Consider breaking down your inspections into smaller, concentrated areas. It’s hard to gauge the hazards and risks when performing a general inspection. Laser focusing on key areas can help you zero in on real issues that need your attention.
- Be aware of the results of your last safety inspection, but recognize that these results won’t be the same with every inspection.
- Re-examine issues you may have uncovered last time to ensure they’ve been taken care of.
- You should have some idea of how long a thorough safety inspection should take. If you find you’ve finished before you normally do, you may have glossed over key areas and should go back through your inspection.
- Take detailed notes and clearly document your findings.
- Take care of any issues as soon as possible to mitigate risk to yourself and others.
- Continually research ways to improve your own safety inspections. Going beyond the minimum requirements from compliance departments can help to create a safer work environment.
- Log every inspection in your EHS software to keep an easily accessible running record of your actions.
The better you can make every inspection, the more peace of mind you can bring to the company and its employees.
No Inspection Is Ever a Waste of Time
Every safety inspection is worth your time, even if you don’t find any major issues. Inspections can seem monotonous and insignificant, but in reality, they should be the exact opposite. When you start feeling like every inspection looks the same, you may start becoming complacent to the point you miss key findings.
Inspections should never be considered routine, nor are they a waste of time. Treat every inspection as though it were your first to ensure you’re proactively looking for issues and not assuming your findings will turn out like the last one.
When you take the “routine” feeling out of your inspections, you’re better positioned to make each one count.
Got questions on how to improve your safety inspections? We’d love to hear them. Feel free to reach out to our team about how safety inspection software can help you streamline your inspections.