1 min read

How often should we conduct workplace inspections?

Q: What is the legal requirement regarding how regularly a workplace should be formally inspected? I had the impression we were required to inspect at least quarterly, but I can’t find any legislation to support this.

We encourage daily observations in our business; however, this is not recorded formally and only hazards are documented when seen.

We operate nursing homes in NSW, Victoria, SA and Queensland.

A: You are legally required to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure safety, which means that there is no prescriptive requirement for the number and timing of inspections. It will vary depending on the nature of the work.

However, you are required to conduct scheduled checks to proactively assess safety measures and uncover problems before they result in injury, illness or damage. The frequency of any inspection depends largely on the nature of the inspection and potential gravity of the risk of harm.

You should aim to have:

  • regular workplace inspections, i.e. conducted daily or weekly;
  • regular reviews of safety practices and procedures (usually conducted monthly);
  • regular audits (conducted every 6–12 months) to verify that specific elements of the safety management system are working as intended; and
  • annual audits of the safety management system as a whole.

In addition, daily checks should be carried out for high-risk activities and equipment.

We recommend that you review the chapter Audits, Inspections and Reviews.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Audits, inspections and reviews for current advice.

Subscribe to the Health & Safety Bulletin

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.

Sending confirmation email...
Great! Now check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription.
Please enter a valid email address!