Inspecting construction sites to ensure that appropriate controls are in place is another key element of an effective health and safety program. Informal inspections should be done by all supervisors whenever they are out on site. Formal documented inspections must be done weekly by supervisors and monthly by health and safety representatives or Joint Health and Safety Committee members.
Even where inspections are not legally required, a well-managed inspection program can help to identify problems and assess risks before accidents or injuries occur. A proper inspection program can:
- identify potential problems.
- identify deficiencies in equipment and/or machinery.
- assess and determine the degree of compliance.
- demonstrate management support for the health and safety program.
Frontline supervisors and members of the Joint Health and Safety Committee do the majority of planned general inspections, however middle and upper management must conduct safety tours aimed at identifying substandard health and safety conditions.
The range of things to inspect can vary, depending on the kind of construction activity undertaken by the company. The person(s) conducting the inspection should be knowledgeable about the kinds of hazards that may be present and the legal requirements that apply as well as the requirements of the company's health and safety program.
Any health and safety deficiencies identified during the inspection should be noted and corrective action should be taken. Follow up to see that the corrective action has been taken and that the hazard has been effectively dealt with. Where inspections are being done by the company's health and safety co-ordinator/director or the site health and safety representative, the site supervisor should normally accompany them so that any corrective action needed can be implemented as soon as possible.
The results of the inspections should be effectively communicated to the appropriate supervisor(s) and a copy should be kept on file on site and also forwarded to the company's head office for review and retention.
The company's program should address the following points:
- frequency of inspections
- who conducts the inspection
- use of inspection checklists
- communication of inspection results
- follow up on corrective actions required
- retention/forwarding of inspection reports
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Links to existing IHSA and MOL material
The samples provided are intended to be modified to meet company or site-specific requirements. Without such modifications, they may not be appropriate. Although IHSA believes that the information provided is consistent with the legal requirements and/or good industry practices which prevailed at the time the information was compiled, users of this information are urged to check with current regulations, local/trade practices and the most recent edition of the reference material to ensure that it is still appropriate.