If you were asked to name one way you could effectively analyze your operations for safety hazards, we’d guess that house inspections would be the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, just about every business thinks that inspections and audits are the best ways to analyze operations. An inspection is quite simple to implement, and if done right can be a very effective tool in reducing hazards and lowering injuries.

Why should inspections be done?

Inspections are a necessary function of any successful Loss Prevention program. Its main purpose is to identify hazards that exist so adjustments can be made to the process before an accident or injury occurs. Audits can also be used to verify that administrative policies and procedures are actually being carried out.

Who should conduct the inspections or audits?

The answer really depends on the type of inspections being done. If you are inspecting the operations for general hazards, then anyone who is familiar with the operations could do it. This would include department managers, supervisors, safety committee members, and even line employees. If the inspection looks into specialized processes or pieces of equipment, then someone who has specific knowledge or certification is recommended.

What should be inspected or audited?

There is no process, procedure, equipment or area of operation that is exempt from being inspected. You must decide what is affecting your bottom line and go from there. Is it a malfunctioning piece of equipment? Is it a breakdown in communications? Has there been a rash of injuries or accidents occurring? Or do you just need to ensure that procedures are being carried out? The possibilities are endless, but be sure there is a purpose for your inspection. Doing an inspection just because it is required may not be the best reason. Rather, an inspection should be done to ultimately make the operations better.

Effective Safety Inspection Tips

  • Safety first – Observe for hazards first, then operations.
  • Educate – Inspectors should know what they are looking for. The more they know about a process, the better their observations.
  • Keep an open mind – Try not to pre-judge before gathering all of the facts.
  • Ask all the Ws – Keep on asking yourself the who, what, when, where, and why of an incident, and you will uncover causes.
  • Use a checklist – Be systematic by using checklists, but don’t be dependent on them.
  • Take notes – Though it may be easier to rely on memory, it may not be the most accurate. Take notes during the process for accurate recall.
  • Take pictures – As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

How often should an inspection be done?

Depending on what is being inspected, it can be done daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. There is no regulatory requirement on how many times an inspection should be done. However, it should depend on how hazardous the operations or conditions may be. As the severity of the hazard increases, the inspections should also be done more frequently to ensure that policies are being adhered to and controls are being practiced.

How long should the inspection report be?

It can be a couple of pages long, or it can be as short as one sheet of your note pad. Whatever you may use as your inspection sheet, be sure it can be filed for documentation to refer back to or show a regulatory agency that inspections are being done.

DTRIC’s Risk Consulting Services department will be glad to assist in building an effective inspection or audit program. Feel free to call us to request for inspection forms or to set up an appointment to assess your operations.

Business Knowledge Center

DTRIC Insurance's Business Knowledge Center offers topics like property management, work safety management, and more.

Skip to content