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Workplace Safety Audits & Inspections

Purpose

Inspection of work areas and audits of safety programs are tools that can be used to identify problems and hazards before these conditions result in accidents or injuries. Audits also help to identify the effectiveness of safety program management and can be used as a guide to assure regulatory compliance and a safe workplace.

Responsibilities

Management

  • Design and schedule audit and inspection procedures for all work areas, processes and procedures.
  • Conduct routine audits and inspections
  • Ensure audits are conducted by employees who understand the various safety programs and policies

Supervisors

  • conduct informal daily safety inspections and ensure all unsafe conditions are corrected
  • conduct documented weekly inspections and ensure all unsafe conditions are corrected

Corrections

All safety deficiencies found during audits and inspections should be corrected as soon as possible. Documentation of corrections should be made on the audit or inspection sheet. And conditions that present a hazards are to be corrected or controlled immediately.

Types of Inspections

Supervisor & Management Daily Walk-through: this is an undocumented inspection that is made daily prior to startup and shift change to ensure the facility and equipment are in safe conditions for Employees. All noted unsafe areas are placed in a safe condition prior to Employees working in the area.

Weekly Supervisor Inspections are conducted and recorded with a Employee. This documented inspection provides a focus to ensure current hazard controls are still effective, equipment is in safe condition and safe work practices are in use. Discrepancies are listed on the inspection sheet, recorded on work orders for correction. The inspection sheet is forwarded to the Safety Manager for review and logging to track discrepancy correction.

Monthly Safety Committee Inspection. Each month members of the Safety Committee will tour the entire facility with the Safety Manager. This tour is to ensure Safety Committee Members are familiar with all areas of the operation. Record of problem areas, committee recommendations and deficiencies will be recorded and provided to management.

Noise Surveys are conducted at least annually, or whenever facility modifications are made that impact the ambient or specific work area noise levels,  Noise surveys are conducted by qualified persons with calibrated instruments.

Equipment Inspections are conducted to ensure specific safety equipment is in good working order and will function when needed. Examples and frequencies are:

  • Sprinkler Inspection - Monthly
  • Boiler Checks- Weekly
  • Emergency Lighting Test - Monthly
  • Fire Extinguisher Inspections - Monthly
  • Safety Equipment Inventories - Monthly
  • Boiler Tests - Monthly
  • Emergency Lighting 90 Min. Test - Semiannually
  • Respirator Inspections- Before / After Use (Monthly at a minimum)
  • Boiler Internal Inspections - Annually (by qualified inspector)

Program Audits are conducted to check the administration of specific safety and health programs. Program Audits of the following shall be conducted annually.

  • Accident Prevention
  • Fire Prevention
  • Material Handling
  • Flammable Material Storage
  • Lockout-Tagout
  • Hazard Communication
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Confined Space Entry
  • Asbestos Controls
  • Boiler Safety
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Contractor Safety
  • Electrical Safety
  • Tool Safety
  • Hot Work
  • Respiratory Protection

Records

Records of audits and inspection will be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the specific programs. As a minimum, the last two program audits will be kept on record.  Routine inspection records will be maintained on a most current basis. Records of deficiency corrections will be maintained for one calendar year from date of correction.

 

Conducting Safety Audits

There are four basic questions an audit should answer. The persons or team designated to conduct the audits should take a fact finding approach to gather data. These auditors should be familiar with

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