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Importance of safety inspections to avoid workplace accidents

Occupational accidents can cause great costs and negatively alter the operational dynamics of any organization. To avoid any type of accident, it is recommended to carry out periodic safety inspections that identify and control the risks related to the daily activities of the company in time.

Safety inspections can be defined as the administrative process that allows studying the physical conditions and the tasks that are carried out, in order to detect possible dangers that can cause accidents due to technical or human failures.

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By conducting these types of assessments on a regular basis, we can recognize risks, facilitate cost control, and generate effective policies to protect the health and safety of workers.

Objectives of safety inspections

Safety inspections are the preventive strategies that business owners have to identify hazards and control risks before they cause harm to people or the workplace. For this reason, these inspections must meet the following objectives:

  • Identify equipment deficiencies: Work equipment used for daily tasks is analyzed to determine if it has reached the limit of its useful life, if it has insufficient capacity or if it is being used improperly. If any anomaly is found, it must be reported so that the equipment can be changed immediately.
  • Identify bad practices of workers: Detect if there are work practices or methodologies that put people and the normal operation of the company at risk.
  • Identify potential problems: Assess which occupational health and safety policies were not taken into account when designing operational policies. Analyze if more requirements are required or which ones need to be modified.
  • Identify possible risks due to changes in processes: When any process is changed within an organization, an inspection must be made to establish what dangers the execution or change of said process may bring.
  • Propose solutions: The results of the inspection must generate corrective and control proposals that eliminate or minimize the risks that were identified.

Types of safety inspections

Safety inspections are divided according to your planning and according to the periodicity in which they are carried out. Within the planning inspections we find the following:

1.  Informal Inspections

They are carried out spontaneously and without a prior schedule. This kind of inspections can be carried out by anyone within the organization without prior training and their main objective is to report very noticeable risk conditions quickly.

safety inspections

2.  Formal inspections

They are safety inspections that require a schedule and planning that adapts to the needs of the operation. They use a system defined by means of a checklist and are aimed at identifying all the details that can generate some type of accident.

These inspections have to be carried out by specialized people with adequate training and who can prepare a professional report with the results found.

3.  General inspections

They are the evaluations that seek to recognize the possible risk factors within the facilities of a company. It is carried out through a detailed observation of the physical conditions of the workplace.

4.  Inspections of critical parts

All items that are most likely to cause an accident when not working properly are inspected. The operation of machinery, electrical systems and storage areas for special materials (chemicals and fuels) are evaluated.

5.  Special inspections

They are the inspections that are carried out when something exceptional or special happens in the operation of the company. For example, when creating a new process, an extension, or an accident investigation.

Who conducts safety inspections

These types of inspections are carried out by a health and safety inspector, who has specific knowledge in the prevention of occupational hazards. Usually it is a person in the organization whose main function is to enforce the rules and take care of the safety of all.

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Among the main functions of this professional we find:

  • Monitor compliance with safety regulations
  • Inform workers of the company's safety programs and when any type of modification is made.
  • Verify that all individual and collective protection equipment is used
  • Carry out the inspections required by senior managers
  • Report accidents and possible impacts that may generate safety risks

Carrying out periodic and quality inspections ensures the company has efficient safety policies that minimize the risks that can cause workplace accidents. By identifying potential hazards early, you help save large amounts of money and significantly improve your organization's productivity.

Here at Australian Workplace Safety we cover work health and safety, wellbeing of employees, workers, and people. We include regular articles to assist with practical guidance and to help you as business owners make improvements around your workplace to assist benefit everyone involved in your organisation employees also as your customers.

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