Your questions answered: How often should we conduct workplace inspections?

By Portner Press on May 16th, 2019
  1. Policies & Procedures
  2. Audits & 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 they are 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 chapter A2 Audits, Inspections and Reviews in the Health & Safety Handbook.

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