Self-Inspection Program Guide (Spanish)

A self-inspection program is beneficial to any organization. It allows time to detect and correct unsafe conditions before someone is injured. A program should involve everyone from top management to front-line employees. Self-inspections occur at different time intervals and are conducted by various people depending on the scope and purpose of the inspection.

Daily – Employees should inspect their work areas, tools, and equipment at the beginning of each workday. Maintenance personnel, supervisors, and others whose duties take them into the production area, should be constantly checking for unsafe actions and conditions. In all cases where remedial action is needed, the problem(s) should be reported and corrected as soon as possible.
Weekly – Department heads, plant managers, and others who may not normally get into the production areas should tour that area and talk with employees about safety.
Monthly – This frequency allows for a planned, scheduled inspection. It can involve the safety person, safety committee, and others. The participation of top management in such inspections indicates they are involved and interested in safety.

Establishing a Program
A planned monthly inspection usually involves the safety department and the safety committee. This type of inspection should cover all areas, including those areas where “no one ever goes.” It is advisable to schedule the inspections when employees and equipment are in full operation.

The inspection team should be limited in size to approximately two to four members. They should represent production, supervision, and safety. The team should be under the direction of a responsible member of management who will provide the authority necessary to assure its effectiveness. Specific responsibilities should be assigned (e.g., who will take notes, be the spokesperson, follow up on recommendations, etc.)

Prior to conducting an inspection, consider the following:

  • Train inexperienced team members. Include plant layout and production flow; standards, regulations, and codes; hazard recognition of unsafe acts and conditions; and purpose of the inspection.
  • Review previous inspections to ensure that recommendations have been completed.
  • Review accident records for the various areas or departments. Information on how a particular accident occurred often will reveal hazards that need to be corrected.
  • Provide and wear all necessary personal protective equipment in required areas.
  • Develop a pre-planned route. This ensures that all areas will be inspected completely and thoroughly. It also will eliminate backtracking, distractions, and unnecessary interruptions of production processes.

Program Records
Accurate inspection records serve as evidence of the program, provide documentation of necessary corrective actions, and provide a method of follow-up to assure completion. One of the easiest methods to record an inspection is to use a checklist. These can be obtained from a variety of sources, or one can be tailored to suit your individual requirements (see example at the end of this topic). Checklists have several advantages, but should be used as an aid to the inspection process, not as an end in itself.

Checklists are especially helpful when periodic inspections are required for certain equipment. Items such as conveyors, hoists, cranes, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, scaffolding and ladders should be inspected by qualified persons on a schedule designed to ensure compliance.

Instituting Corrective Actions
Inspection results should prompt actions to correct problems.

  • Correct the cause of the problem whenever possible. If the authority needed is above an inspector's, make certain the problem is brought to the attention of someone who has the proper authority.
  • When the authority exists to correct or minimize a problem or hazard, do it immediately.
  • Convey conditions that cannot be corrected immediately to management in a written report. The conditions should be listed in the order of priority, including suggested solutions and compliance dates, if possible.
  • Management should advise the inspectors of what actions are planned on the suggestions, or the reasons why actions will not be taken.
  • Inform employees of unsafe acts and conditions observed during inspections. The items can be discussed with the employees and their suggestions to prevent reoccurrence solicited.

Self-inspections are a necessary part of any safety program. They get employees involved in the loss control efforts, uncover unsafe conditions and practices, and increase morale when items are corrected.

Additional Resources
WCF Insurance Safety Department
(385) 351-8103

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NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.