Monthly workplace inspections are required under Section 8(6) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act) and completing workplace inspections is one of the primary functions of the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC).
Workplace Inspection Best Practices
Workplace inspections must be completed monthly (unless an entire inspection is impractical, according to Section 8(7) of the Act. Inspections must also be documented.
Using a workplace inspection checklist is considered best practice, as it ensures that nothing is missed. The best checklists are customized to your workplace and its specific hazards. While it may be time consuming upfront to create a customized checklist, the long-term benefit is that your workplace inspections will be efficient and consistent.
To help you get started, Best Safety Training has identified the top five most missed items on workplace inspections. Be sure to add these five areas to your customized workplace inspection checklist to ensure that they’re never overlooked, in order to keep your workplace safe and healthy!
1. Fire Extinguishers
Don’t forget to inspect the fire extinguishers! Look for anything blocking the nozzles and ensure that all tags show the current year. Look at the needle to ensure it’s in the green section of the dial. Move anything that’s blocking access and take care that no coats or sweaters are being draped over the extinguisher. If everything is up to par, sign your initials for the month on the extinguisher’s inspection tag.
2. Non-work Areas
Areas where work does not commence are easy to overlook; but, they’re part of the workplace. Don’t forget to inspect break rooms, lunch areas, lounges, stairwells, and parking lots.
3. Hidden Hazards
Look behind doors and shelving, peek into the ventilation system, and test GFCI outlets where applicable and safe to do so. Be vigilant and do more than glance at the surface.
Many JHSC members forget to look for ergonomic hazards. When conducting your inspection, be cognizant of workers and their workspaces. Do you see people reaching too far for materials? Broken office chairs? Desk workers who stop to rub their arms or shoulders or shake out their hands? People whose feet don’t touch the ground when they sit? All of these point to potential ergonomic hazards.
5. Seasonal Hazards
Each season brings new hazards: winter brings slippery ice and snow, spring brings mud and rain, summer brings harsh sunshine, and autumn brings a mixed bag of all sorts of weather. Be sure that your JHSC is prepared to account for the hazards of each incoming season in their inspections.
Best Safety Training Can Help
Best Safety Training is a Chief Prevention Officer (CPO)-approved provider of JHSC training. We offer in-house and on-site JHSC Part One, Part Two, and Refresher training. We also offer Workplace Inspection Training. Let the Best Safety Training company take care of your training needs.
To ask questions about JHSC or Workplace Inspection Training, contact us online or call 226.777.7385. Visit us 24/7 on the web at bestsafetytraining.ca.