Have you ever wondered how your office, job site,or facility would score after a safety inspection? Here is a basic overview of what to look for and see where you might find some areas of improvement. Not all sections on this overview will apply to everyone, but almost everyone will find something on here that will apply to them. By performing regular safety inspections, you help keep the workplace safe by identifying and correcting hazards in the workplace. Inspection frequency depends on the hazard level of the workplace; sites may need checks at every shift, daily, quarterly or annually. Document the inspection observations, identified hazards, and the corrective actions taken.
To start, focus on the administrative records and postings at the workplace. SDS or MSDS binders, safety programs, procedures, trainings, and records need to be up to date and accurate. Critical procedures (e.g. spill cleanup, evacuation) should be posted in prominent locations. Required employer postings (e.g. OSHA, Workers Compensation, and labor law) must be “likely to be seen” by employees.
Floor surfaces should be clean and free of slip hazards such as dirt, granular substances, equipment parts, water, or oil. Wet surfaces should be covered with non-slip materials. Holes in the floor, sidewalk, carpet, or other walking surface should be repaired properly, covered, or made safe.
For good housekeeping, items and debris should be kept up off floors and out of walkways. Stored items need to be stacked properly on shelving units firmly attached to the wall; heavier items should be on the bottom, lighter items stored on top shelves. Items stored on tops shelves require 18” clearance from fire sprinkler systems. Unsecured stacks on floors should not exceed 72” in height.
Electric panels should have 36” clearance in front. Power cords to equipment should be intact; repair or replace frayed cords. Check that extension cords do not cross walkways and are used only temporarily. Additional power outlets should be installed if extension cords are necessary on a permanent basis or there are “daisy chained” power strips. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets should be installed around wet areas.
Aisles and walkways need 36” clearance in an office and 44” in a shipping area. Clearly mark emergency exits so they can be seen from any point in the facility. Keep exits clear of stacked material and other impediments. Label doors that are not exits to avoid confusion. Fire doors should not be propped open.
Ensure equipment and tools are in good working order; place defective equipment out of service. Check that equipment guards and protective coverings are in place. Store chemicals within their compatible classes; flammables should be kept in a secured flammable cabinet. Personal protective equipment should be clean and accessible with available areas and materials for decontamination and storage.
Test fire alarms and sprinkler systems annually. Fire extinguishers should be checked for charge monthly and recharged annually. Inspect first aid kits periodically and replenish or replace supplies when needed.
If you have any questions concerning work place safety and how you can improve your employees safety, please contact the LL Roberts Group PEO Risk Management department (toll free) at 877.878.6463. You can even talk to us on Facebook!