A workplace inspection is a planned event in which the workplace is inspected to identify potential hazards.
It is the best way of proactively identifying hazards before they have the ability to cause an injury.
Anybody can do a workplace inspection. Ideally though, an inspection would involve an experienced person from the area, a Safety and Health Representative or Safety Officer and the supervisor of the area. At least one of the team should be independent of the specific area.
Workplace inspections use a checklist to help identify hazards. Using the checklist and looking at the area of concern is the best way to go about doing an inspection. Once hazards are identified, solutions are required to be put in place to ensure the hazard is controlled.
After each inspection, the dates on the Workplace Safety Inspection Schedule wall poster are to be adjusted as required before it is printed in colour and displayed in a prominent position in the area as a very visible, bright reminder of when the next inspection is due.
The Workplace Safety Inspection Schedule wall poster which is located on the testing, tagging and workplace inspections webpage includes a method of assessing risks presented by different types of workplace and then classifying them as being either non-hostile or hostile electrical environments in accordance with the provisions of the AS/NZS 3760 Standard. Before carrying out workplace inspections the poster should be used to work out their required frequency in accordance with the needs for the electrical environment.
To synchronise hostile electrical environment testing and tagging (by a competent person using appriate test equipment) with workplace inspections, initially, get the tags in the workplace changed and all dated near to the workplace inspection date. Set the frequency of workplace inspections to be in step with the requirements for electrical testing and tagging. From that point on workplace inspections will include getting tags changed with the required frequency.
There are a number of checklists depending on the type of area being inspected. These checklists include a detailed list of items to inspect; however, it is recommended that you modify the checklist to make it more specific to your area.
All areas must complete a General Areas Checklist and then a specific checklist such as a Laboratory or Workshop Checklist. Inspections should be carried out, a least, annually and more frequently if other factors, such as testing and tagging requirements dictate the need (i.e. high-risk areas or hostile electrical environments should be inspected more frequently). A common indicator for detail and higher frequency of inspection is a change in the electrical classification (more detail on this can be found at testing, tagging and workplace inspections. Changes may include new projects, personnel, plant or equipment, procedures and refurbishment.
During and after an inspection, identified hazards should be discussed to have appropriate corrective actions specified and assigned to an appropriate person. These should be documented as part of the inspection record. The implementation of corrective actions must be followed up by the inspection team to ensure they are completed. Failure to implemet corrective actions (within a reasonable, agreed period) is unacceptible and should be referred to the UWA Resolution of Health and Safety Issues process.