Conducting Workplace Inspections

Workplace Inspections
620 349 sureadmin

The ability to conduct your inspections correctly will help improve the quality of your health and safety management systems. This blog will discuss how to measure and monitor performance and what you should be looking out for.

Safety Checks

Checks in the workplace should happen regularly for a number of reasons. This may include making sure the workplace is complying to all the legal standards. Checks come in a range of methods:

Survey – An examination of a certain practice in the workplace, for example, handling of chemicals.

Tours – Unscheduled tours of the workplace. The aim is to identify whether the safe practices are being maintained, for example, excess stock being safely stored away.

Sampling – Assessment of a particularly dangerous area of a workplace. Used to identify how hazardous the area is. For example, air testing in a woodwork workshop.

Audit – Observation of all organisational aspects. It’s carried out by a competent person within that field and looks at areas such as, fire assessments and accident reports.

Inspections – Detailed observation of the workplace making sure everything is to standard.

Conducting Inspections

Below is a four step model which allows for effective inspections. By following this, you will be able to effectively carry out inspection, resulting in improved Health and Safety Management Systems.

  1. Planning and Preparation
    Firstly, clearly define the scope of the inspection. Identify key personnel involved. Highlight any areas of concern to allow for additional focus. Outline a suggested schedule.
  2. Performing The Inspection
    Secondly, make sure you are asking questions around the areas of concern. It is important you are following the agreed scope. Take some time to observe how individuals work in their role. Ask questions to appropriate people, making sure you get a sample of opinions. By getting a sample, you can get the overall opinion of the workforce. After each inspection, hold an exit meeting. An exit meeting is a discussion on what has happened and what the next course of action is. Consider providing a checklist of the areas of concern. This will make it easier to identify what needs to be observed.
  3. Reporting
    Thirdly, The report needs to demonstrate what you have just witnessed. A good report will identify the positives as well as the negatives and provide a detailed call to action.
  4. Follow Up
    Finally, the follow up will look at whether the required improvements have been completed by the set time. The set time will have been agreed at the exit meeting. If the improvements have not been made, put them on the checklist for the next inspection.

It is essential to continuously evaluate your health and safety management systems, without doing so you could miss certain aspects that could lead to an accident which could have been easily prevented.

Good Practice

Below is what you can consider in order to appropriately carry out the four steps above.

Make sure you have a solid plan in place. The inspection will be more effective if you know exactly what you are looking for.

Decide the right amount of inspectors needed. It’s good to have more than one to get a range of perspectives. Too many though could lead to conflict with a surplus of opinions.

Divide the workplace
Some work places can be large. You don’t necessarily need to inspect the whole premises at once. Therefore, it may be easier, to inspect a work area at a time.

Eric’s Top Tip

Our health and safety expert had this to say about conducting inspections: ‘Inspections are key to identifying areas of improvement. To gain most benefit from inspection, it should be unannounced so auditors are seeing the site under normal circumstances rather than everyone know an inspection is taking place’.


What Sure Safety Can Offer

It’s essential to appropriately deal with accidents. If you are unsure your policies and procedures are up to date, then get in touch. One of our consultants can review your current policies and procedures to make sure they allow you to achieve the legislative standards. We will also be able to help carry out safety checks and advice you on the best course of action. Please don’t hesitate to contact. Our unique pricing matrix means we can take of jobs, regardless the size of your business. No job is too big or too small.

To arrange a consultation , call 029 2086 8802 or email

Sure Safety can offer consultancy in the following areas: Health and Safety, Risk Assessment, Fire, Accreditation, Training and Policies, Planning and Management Systems. For more information on these services, look at our website.  Or you can check out our Twitter and Facebook.

Because safety doesn’t happen by accident.