How to conduct inspections – 9 things to look out for
By Alanna Furlan
You may need to regularly inspect your workplace, particularly if it is high-risk, to check for hazards in relation to all tasks undertaken and equipment used in your workplace.
In particular, your inspection should identify any new hazards that have been introduced, e.g. new machinery, and uncontrolled risks associated with them. Who can carry out an inspection?
The following people in your business may carry out an inspection:
- health and safety representatives;
- your health and safety committee;
- senior management; or
- other workers.
You should inspect the following things in your workplace:
- Work practices, e.g. how workers are undertaking manual handling tasks;
- Hazardous materials, such as glass, chemicals, etc.;
- Machine guards, e.g. guards on blades and nip points on machinery, guards against crush or entanglement risks, etc.;
- Plant and equipment, e.g. power tools and pumps;
- The building itself. For example, look for:
- Doors opening onto traffic;
- Structural damage that could cause collapse;
- Protruding structures;
- Loading ramps; and
- Areas that require ventilation;
- Internal and external structures of your site, e.g. fences, rails and walkways;
- Correct use of personal protective equipment, e.g. hard hats, safety glasses and high-visibility vests;
- Mobile plant and equipment, e.g. forklifts; and
- General housekeeping, e.g. trip hazards caused by extension cords, slip hazards caused by spills, etc.
You should also ensure that emergency management plans are in place in the event of a fire, chemical spill or other unexpected emergency.
For more information about inspecting your worksite, refer to chapter A2 Audits, Inspections and Reviews in your Health & Safety Handbook.
From the experts behind the Health & Safety Handbook, the Bulletin brings you the latest work health and safety news, legal updates, case law and practical advice straight to your inbox every week.