The 5 W’s and How of Workplace Inspections

Workplace inspections play an integral role in a successful health and safety program. When executed properly, workplace inspections are a powerful tool for continuous improvement of safety and preventing accidents in the workplace.

Who Should Complete a Workplace Inspection?

Certified members of your Joint Health and Safety Committee have been trained to conduct proper workplace inspections. At least one supervisor is also encouraged to participate in the inspection because they have the advantage of knowing the workplace and have access to all areas and helpful resources. However, if only one person is available to conduct the inspection, it must be completed by the certified worker member.

What Hazards do I need to Assess?

A workplace specific inspection checklist is a valuable tool for workplaces ranging in size from multi-location factories, down to small offices. Using the checklist ensures that important items are not overlooked or forgotten. Don’t forget to inspect areas where work is not carried out, such as the break room and parking lot.

Where do I Turn for Help? 

OSG can help you conduct a workplace inspection, or provide the training you, your workers, JHSC and your supervisors need to conduct your own. It is often beneficial to have an external party such as OSG conduct an inspection because they may find hazards that your JHSC have not been able to realize and need to be addressed. Additionally, OSG will provide short and long term recommendations on how to address hazards identified in the workplace.

Do you have enough certified members on your JHSC, at least one worker and one supervisor member? OSG is Ontario’s largest private provider of Chief Prevention Officer-approved Joint Health and Safety Committee training. We are an excellent choice for your JHSC training needs.

When do I need to Complete Workplace Inspections?

According to s.8(6) of the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act, workplace inspections should be conducted at least monthly. S.8(7) stipulates that where it is not practical to inspect the whole site, all areas of the workplace must be inspected at least once per year, with a different section of the workplace being inspected each month.

How do I Conduct a Workplace Inspection?

The most effective workplace inspections are those that are pre-planned and well organized. Be sure to list areas and items of concern to inspect. At the conclusion of an inspection, prepare a report that outlines recommendations to address the hazards you found. Good recommendations typically include more than one option for addressing hazards, including short and long term solutions as well as any costs associated with each option.

If you have any questions about JHSC certification or workplace inspections, please call 800.815.9980 to speak to a Health & Safety expert today!