Why workplace health and safety inspections are important
Workplace health and safety inspections are crucial – no matter the industry, company size or daily activities. These inspections can identify existing and potential future hazards and can ensure that your workplace remains compliant with all legislation. This will help to assure a healthy and safe working environment for not just your team, but also for any visitors and the general public. They are also a legal requirement.
And, as we discussed in this recent blog, there are significant benefits that come with having this positive health and safety culture – a healthy, happy workforce, legally compliant systems and processes and increased productivity and revenue. Regular health and safety inspections are a key aspect of ensuring this. It should, of course, be noted that each workplace can present unique hazards and challenges, so inspections are certainly not a one-size-fits-all situation and are adapted to fit each specific workplace.
What you should consider in an inspection?
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of just some of the things you should consider when carrying out a health and safety inspection in your workplace:
- Consider the type of work you do. High-risk operations will require more frequent and more detailed inspections.
- Keep on top of legislative requirements. You need to be able to identify and correct anything on-site that’s not within the law.
- Agree what needs to be inspected, and to what standard. Determine which areas of your workplace or which activities you want to inspect. Then inspect these either against current legislative requirements, or any internal company policies you have in place.
- Get everyone on site involved, this will help build a great H&S culture.
- Look for any unsafe conditions or unsafe acts. An unsafe condition could be, for example, a trip hazard whereas an unsafe act could be somebody not following safe working procedures.
- Prepare a report. This should identify what is currently done well in your workplace, as well as any shortcomings or unsafe conditions or acts. You should also consider what actions you can take to correct this. Consider using a checklist to make sure you cover everything.
Benefits to leaving it to the professionals
There are several important benefits to outsourcing your workplace health and safety inspection schedule:
- You can get a health and safety professional, who is highly experienced and competent in performing detailed workplace inspections across a variety of industries.
- They remain up-to-date and are aware of the latest legislative requirements and examples of industry best-practice.
- Identify hazards or risks, and get clear advice on corrective actions. A full report would tend to be provided for each inspection detailing any examples of good practice on your site, and any shortcomings with recommendations for improvement.
- Engagement with all those in the workplace. An experienced H&S Advisor also recognises the importance of engaging employees and those that work in the environment every day during inspections.
- Get an impartial, non-biased view of your workplace.
- It removes the administrative burden of undertaking an inspection, leaving you time to focus on running your business and supporting your team.
What happens during a PHSS inspection?
What happens during an inspection will differ depending on the workplace. For example, an inspection of a construction site will look very different to an inspection of an office environment. Despite this, the same basic elements should be covered – legal compliance in the management of health and safety and the application of the standards necessary to safeguard your employees and anyone else affected by your work activities.
For all inspections, a member of our experienced and competent advisor team will visit your workplace. Their detailed inspection will include a walk around your workplace and discussion with on-site employees, observing the hazards and risks most relevant to your workplace and checking for compliance with relevant legislative requirements. After the visit is over, a detailed report will be provided highlighting all positive findings from the inspection, as well as a series of recommendations on what is needed to rectify or mitigate hazards and risks identified, leaving your workplace safer and legally compliant. PHSS promises that the report and corrective action plan will be distributed within one working day of the inspection so that corrective action can be initiated as soon as possible.
For these reasons, it’s best to book a professional site inspection service, such as that provided by PHSS. PHSS provides health, safety and environmental inspections to all industries – working with on-site managers, supervisors and workers to ensure compliance with legislative and company procedural requirements to keep your teams healthy and safe.