Inspections of the workplace
Formal inspections can take different forms and you and your representatives will need to agree the best methods for your workplace. Here are some of the ways inspections can take place.
- Safety tours – general inspections of the workplace
- Safety sampling – systematic sampling of particular dangerous activities, processes or areas
- Safety surveys – general inspections of particular dangerous activities, processes or areas
- Incident inspections carried out after an accident causing a fatality, injury, or near miss, which could have resulted in an injury, or case of ill health and has been reported to the health and safety enforcing authority.
Inspecting the workplace
Health and safety representatives can inspect the workplace. They have to give reasonable notice in writing when they intend to carry out a formal inspection of the workplace, and have not inspected it in the previous three months. If there is substantial change in conditions of work or HSE publishes new information on hazards, the representatives are entitled to carry out inspections before three months have elapsed, or if it is by agreement.
The frequency of inspections will depend on the nature of the work. Inspections may be less often, for example, if the work environment is low risk like in a predominantly administrative office. But if there are certain areas of a workplace or specific activities that are high risk or changing rapidly, more frequent inspection may be justified, for example on a construction project.
- Plan a programme of inspections – you and your representatives can plan a programme of inspections in advance…
- Agree the number of representatives – agree the number of representatives taking part in any one formal inspection…
- Co-ordinate inspections – plan inspections if there is more than one representative, because they can then co-ordinate their inspections to avoid unnecessary duplication.
- Inspect together – it will help your relationship with the representatives if you inspect together…
- Consult specialists – if there is a safety officer or specialist advisers…
- Break down tasks – for larger workplaces, it may not be practical to conduct a formal inspection of the entire workplace in a single session…
Following-up after an inspection
After an inspection:
- Explain the reasons for any follow-up action you decide to take to your representatives.
- Let the representative who notified you of the inspection have the opportunity to inspect again so they can check if the issues raised got appropriate attention, and record their views.
- Share the follow-up action taken throughout the workplace and other relevant parts of the business, including the health and safety committee where there is one.
Sample forms you and your safety representatives may find helpful are available on the HSSE World website for:
- Construction safety Checklist ( Click Below to download it