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How to do Health and Safety inspection sheets

Before we begin it must be noted that there is a big difference between an inspection and an audit. An inspection is performed frequently and on a regular basis by the SHE Rep or the legally appointed person or operator of the tools or equipment. Audits are performed less frequently, usually every 3 to 4 months by a senior employee or by an external auditor.

It must also be noted that there are three types of inspections. The first is a Planned Job Observation, the second is an inspection after an accident or incident and the third is a general routine inspection. We will be discussing the third type of inspection.

Prepare for the inspection

The first step of your inspection is not the actual inspection but to prepare and plan for the inspection. Make sure that you have set out a plan of action of what exactly you are going to inspect, when you are going to do the inspection, how you are going to do the inspection and who is going to be involved with the inspection.

Inspect previous inspection sheets and familiarise yourself with the findings and notes of these inspections. Familiarise yourself with the hazards previously identified and understand the work procedures. Make use of assistance if you are in any way unsure of the work procedures, tools or equipment that you will be inspecting. Make sure that you use the correct inspection form for the inspection. Notify the supervisor / manager of the inspection before the inspection.

Conduct the investigation

Introduce yourself to the relevant employees where the health and safety inspection is going to take place. Explain to them the reasons for the inspection and ask them for assistance. Making use of the employee will make the inspection easier and will make the employee feel appreciated and important.

When starting the inspection you must always write down the inspectors name and the date of the inspection. Use your notes of the previous inspections done and hazards that were identified. Inspect to see if previously noted findings have been resolved and if it is sufficient if resolved. Get feedback from the employee or operator. Do an analysis to see if there are new hazards or if the existing hazards have increased or decreased in potentially dangerous situations.

Make detailed notes of your health and safety inspection. Make drawings if necessary. Take photos to support evidence. Ensure that you have done the health and safety inspection from or possible angles and that all possible scenarios have been covered. Think out of the box. Look for possible cover-ups from employees, supervisors or managers. Don’t be intimidated by their presence or line of authority.

Our next blog will be on the different types of health and safety inspection sheets. Feel free to share and comment on this blog.

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