A well planned Environmental, Safety & Health inspection program helps to detect unsafe conditions and hazards before an incident occurs. Inspections can also detect non-compliances with applicable regulations. When utilized properly, inspections are an effective method of reducing risk to the University. Inspections also provide an opportunity for ADSOs and other departmental faculty/staff to learn more about ES&H requirements and risk management techniques.
Who conducts inspections?
The Director of Environmental, Safety & Health, Additional Duty Safety Officers (ADSOs), and in some instances, University Safety Committee members will conduct an Environmental, Safety & Health inspections. However, supervisor and management involvement in safety inspections reinforces the message that all employees, not just the safety staff, are responsible.
In addition, general inspections which target housekeeping and workplace neatness can be conducted by most personnel. Such general inspections are also useful for identifing potenial ES&H issues.
Frequency of Inspections
The frequency of safety inspections will be determined on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the nature and severity of potential hazards, and on the relative stability and complexity of worksite operations. Each department should analyze its own operations based on the following criteria, to determine which areas need attention:
- Potential for incidents;
- Potential severity of incidents;
- General workplace neatness, or housekeeping;
- New or altered equipment, processes and operations; and
- Previous record of ES&H incidents.
Types of Inspections
There are two basic types of inspection processes: those that are continuous or ongoing, and those that are planned and conducted at regular intervals.
Continuous Inspections: Continuous inspections are performed by employees or supervisors as part of their daily routine. Inspections can be informal or formal, using a checklist and other documentation procedures. Any necessary corrective action should be performed at the time a hazard or unsafe condition is discovered. This routine process demonstrates positive employee and supervisory involvement in an ongoing safety program. However, because of the routine nature of these continuous inspections, complacency may become a factor and reduce the value of the process. Supervisors and employees may be biased in evaluating their own areas, which reduces the objectivity of the continuous inspection process. Therefore, planned inspections in conjunction with the continuous ongoing inspection process may overcome this problem.
Planned Inspections: The planned inspection consists of three types of inspections: periodic, intermittent, and general. The periodic inspection is usually performed at regular intervals (e.g. weekly, monthly, or semiannually) and is limited or site-specific in scope. The intermittent inspection is performed on an irregular interval basis and is usually not scheduled (e.g. it takes place when an accident occurs, during construction activities, when new employees are on the job, and generally when needed).
page updated 5/5/2014 10:37 AM