Inspections are part and parcel of proper safety protocol. Because conditions and hazards on a site changes all the time, a worksite that was safe yesterday may present new hazards today. Inspections are not the same as hazard assessments. They are part of a good safety program.
An inspection is basically just an observation. Inspections are done both by the company and the workers involved. Everyone shares the responsibility of inspections to assure that workplaces are kept safe and healthy.
The importance of safety inspections: An inspection is an observational tour of the workplace for the specific purpose of identifying hazards (unsafe acts and unsafe conditions), and determining the levels of compliance with established Safe Work Practices, Safe Job Procedures, and Company Rules.
Once a job is underway, inspections must be conducted on an ongoing basis to monitor the effectiveness of a health and safety program.
Who is responsible for safety inspections: Everyone has responsibility in making sure that inspections are carried out regularly and responsibly. As the worker, you are responsible for your own safety and that means doing ongoing and consistent informal checks at your worksite for anything that poses a risk to people or property.
Formal and Informal Inspection Procedures: Companies will do formal and informal inspections on an ongoing basis to keep the work site safe. A formal inspection is a planned inspection. They are conducted by the manager, supervisors and workers together. Formal inspections are regularly scheduled and records are kept.
An informal inspection is generally done by supervisor personnel and is just a walk around the site, observing the work activity and watching for hazardous conditions. In many cases, a supervisor can correct a problem by discussing an unsafe act with a worker or by issuing instructions to have a hazardous condition corrected. Situations that require additional corrective action must be recorded by the supervisor for follow-up.
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