Contractor/Employers' Health and Safety Inspections of the Workplace
Introduction to Inspections of the Workplace
Contractor and/or employer’s health and safety inspections of the workplace can either be formal or informal. Formal inspections can be done in a variety of forms and the employer or contractor along with their employees must agree on the best method according to the workplace.
Inspections can be done in the following ways:
- Safety tours – which are general inspections done on the workplace.
- Safety sampling – involves the systematic sampling of certain dangerous activities, processes, or areas.
- Safety surveys – which are general inspections of certain dangerous activities, processes, or areas.
- Incident inspections are often carried out following an incident involving a fatality, injury, or a near miss.
Forms for sampling
There are numerous sample forms that can be helpful that are used for the following:
- Recording that an inspection has been conducted by a health and safety representative.
- To notify the employer of unsafe or unhealthy conditions or work practices, along with unsatisfactory arrangement for wellbeing at work.
Inspection of the Workplace
Healthy and safety representatives who have been appointed by a union may inspect the workplace. However, they must provide reasonable notice, in writing, of when they intend to carry out such an inspection in the workplace, if these have not been inspected in the previous three months.
Should there be any substantial changes in working conditions or there is updated information available on hazards, the representatives are within their rights to carry out inspections before the three months have passed, or if it is as per an agreement.
Inspection frequency will depend on the nature of the work. Should there be minimal risk environments, these will experience less frequent inspections than high-risk environments.
Good practice involved with health and safety inspections
- Plan a programme for inspections.
- Agree on the number of health and safety representatives that can form part of the inspection team.
- Ensure that inspections are well-coordinated.
- Inspect together.
- Make use of specialists such as safety officers or specialist advisers.
- Break tasks down when there are large workplaces.
Follow-up after an inspection
After an inspection has been conducted, ensure that the following is done:
- Explain the reasons for the follow-up.
- Should the employer have been notified of the inspection by the health and safety representatives, allow them to conduct an inspection again so that they can evaluate whether the issues which were raised received the proper attention.
- Share the follow-up action with all employees in the workplace as well as other relevant parts of the organisation, including the health and safety committee, if there is one.
How can SafetyWallet help Employers and Contractors’ Health and Safety Compliance?
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