Self-inspections increase workplace safety

Employers have a legal, moral, and financial obligation to provide a safe workplace. Setting up a routine workplace inspection program is one way to reduce workplace injuries and control costs. Inspections should take place on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis:

• Daily: Employees check their own workstations and equipment
• Weekly: Supervisors tour the work area to look for safety concerns
• Monthly: A safety leader or committee conducts a scheduled inspection and recommends corrective actions

Safety committees 
Self-inspection programs work best when they include employee involvement. One way to encourage employee leadership is to establish a safety committee.

Typically, this group of employees would meet monthly to discuss workplace hazards and action steps that could make the workplace safer. This team can also be charged with doing a monthly safety walk-through for all areas of the work site.

To be effective, members of the safety committee should have appropriate safety training and experience. It’s also important the committee has strong management support.

Management can demonstrate safety as a priority by implementing the measures recommended by the safety committee. If corrective actions are not planned, leaders should engage in conversation with the committee, explaining why the company is not acting on a safety request and outlining alternate solutions that could be made.

Employee responsibility 
Everyone is responsible for creating safe working conditions, whether you’re part of a safety committee or not. Employees can protect themselves and their coworkers by doing the following:
• Inspect work areas and tools at the beginning of each workday
• Report any unsafe conditions to the supervisor
• Attend all workplace safety sessions
• Wear all recommended personal protective equipment

Self-inspections are key to any safety program. An inspection program is a proactive way to identify and address hazardous conditions before an accident occurs.