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Work place safety Work

place inspection
Margaret K. Semakula

In each and every country there are regulations to
ensure to the extent possible that every working
person has a safe and a healthy working
environment so that valuable resources are
preserved and protected.
Individual organizations break down this mission
statement further into the following specific

Encourage employers and employees to reduce
work place hazards.
Implement new safety and health programs.
Improve existing safety and health programs.
Encourage research that will lead to innovative
ways of dealing with workplace safety and
healthy problems.

Establish the rights of employers and employees
regarding the improvement of workplace safety
and health.
Monitor job related illness and injuries through a
system of reporting and record keeping.

Establish training programs to increase the

number of safety and health professionals and
continually improve their competences.

Establish mandatory workplace safety and health
standards and to enforce those standards.
Provide for the development and approval of national
level workplace safety and health programs to
monitor, analyze and evaluate national level safety
and health programs.
Each business has particular hazards and risks. It is
important that you assess these risks to enable you to
determine whether the control measures in place are
sufficient to prevent serious injury or ill health.

Work place inspection

Typical exposure hazards include;
Chemicals and other hazardous materials
Excessive odour, noise and vibration
Temperature extremes that result in heat and cold
Biohazards including both normal (e.g. mold) and
man made (e.g. bioterrorism).
Ionizing and non ionizing radiation.
Ergonomic hazards resulting in musculoskeletal
Safety related hazards (slips, trips, falls) causing
personal injury.

Work place inspection

The types of hazards found vary significantly between
work places.
Safety hazards are a concern in virtually all places and
should be clearly identified and controlled.
From an industrial hygiene perspective chemical
hazards and noise are the most prevalent.
Other exposure hazards are evolving particularly the
biological threats.

Work place inspection

Manufacturing, construction and agriculture are
occupations that have the potential for significant
exposure to chemical, physical and biological
Work place inspections are important part of any
safety and health program

Work place inspection

Principles of inspection
The inspection is carried out for the following
1. To check specific conditions while at the same time
check actual performance against predetermined
standards if acceptable safety and health conditions
are being achieved.
2. To monitor and evaluate performance and
compliance against organizational policy, procedures
and other predetermined requirements.

Work place inspection

3. To identify hazards and work place practice that have
potential to cause accidents and injury.
For inspection to be beneficial it is important that
those doing it and those being inspected understand
what the reasons for inspection are and this must be
tied to measurable performance results.

It also involves evaluating the relationship between

workplace, people, environment and the procedures
being used.

Work place inspection

Why work place inspections are important?
They help prevent injuries and illness.
They help identify and record hazards for corrective

Health and safety committees plan, conduct,

report and monitor inspections.
Regular work place inspections are important part
of the overall occupation and safety program.

Work place inspection

Benefits of work place inspection/ purpose
Identify hazardous conditions and apply hazard
control measures.
Monitor and evaluate effectiveness of health and
safety practices and procedures.
Improve safety and safety practices and procedures.

Measure safety performance.

Check new facilities, equipment and processes.

Work place inspection

Collect information that identifies new safety initiatives.
Maintain interest in safety and health through consultation.
Display supervisory commitment to safety and health.
It helps improve effective communication in the work area
thus improve and facilitate industrial relations.
It must be recognized that the full benefit of the inspection
process cannot be realized if no action is taken based on
the information collected.

Work place inspection

Types of inspection

Planned /unplanned inspections

A planned inspection is usually an inspection that is
undertaken on a regular basis at a specific work
An unplanned inspection can be conducted at any
time in any workplace without notice.

Work place inspection

Formal or informal inspections
The formal inspection is the planned & scheduled
inspection that results in formal documentation
being produced by members of the inspection
team to communicate the results to other stake
General or critical inspection
This relates to the targeted checks on specific
items, activities or processes.

Work place inspection

When to inspect?
The frequency depends on the nature of work and work
The legislative requirement demand that work places be
inspected as a minimum every 30 days or as a greed by
safety and health committee or employees in that work
Work environments that are continually changing need to
be inspected quite frequently.
In addition to formal inspection the supervisors should
monitor the work place on a daily basis on house keeping,
behavioural trends

Work place inspection

Key elements in conducting a work place inspection.
These inspections should be done jointly by the
management and staff and the health and safety
representatives (occupational hygienist).
Before it is under taken there should a de brief and
preparations should be done.
Guide/Principle of work place inspection
1. A set of standards- the level of expected compliance as
required by legislation. These are the standards to which
the actual findings are compared.
2. Evaluation of differences- observed differences either
positive or negative

Work place inspection

3. Implementation of corrective action- this is the
agreed action to be implemented to rectify the
differences found in the measurement process.
The action should ensure that the minimum
activity complies to the regulations.
4. Follow up assessment and evaluation of the
changes. The follow up process provides the
opportunity to ensure that the corrective action
has been completed satisfactorily and has
actually corrected the problem.

Work place inspection

Steps in conducting actual workplace inspection
1. Preparation
Make appointment to the owners; state date,
time, reason, how many people accompany you,
conditions for the process.
Conduct literature review; prepare a check list ,
study the work processes, the raw materials used,
the product and the type of waste, recommended
methods of work and material handling, required

Work place inspection

2. After the response
Arrive on time or before.
Have a briefing before the tour (ask no questions)

Have a guided tour from the beginning

Keep a record of all that is noticed

Ask a few questions for clarity

Observe housekeeping, procedures and use of PPEs.

Work place inspection

3. Debriefing session

Ask questions using the checklist findings

Note the negatives and ask about them
Note the positive and compliment them
Give advice where you can using previous reading
Ask for samples from particular areas of work if they
will be needed to answer some questions.

Work place inspection

Inquire about

PPE availability and use

Sickness and absenteeism
Rate of accidents
Turn over
Source of raw material
Waste management policy
Activities that bring employees and employers together
Ask for the previous experience of accident
Discuss the possible hazards in place
Ask and discuss the role of employees in the work place
Action taken on finding faults

Work place inspection


Let them ask you any questions
Promise to write a report and give them a copy
Leave communications line open
Do not ask to go back to the plant at all.

s/African+Newsletter/1996-03/05.htm accessed on 20th 06 2011

http://www.ioha.net/ioha/disclaimer.htm accessed on 18th 06

http://www.bohs.org/standardTemplate.aspx accessed on 18th 06
F:\Occupational Hygiene Management Guide - Google Book
Search.htm accessed on 21st 06 2011
Jeanne Marger 1998, Encyclopedia of occupational health and
safety. Fourth edition,volume1. Published by international labour