Why Safety Checklists?
Conducting workplace safety and health inspections using safety checklists is one of the most widely accepted means of discovering hazards and unsafe behaviors. Regular inspections using these checklists are a vital part of every proactive safety program.
You can combine items from safety checklists with safety audits and inspections. You can also add injury statistics and suggestions from employees, to decide what improvements you need in certain safety areas. One great thing about these checklists is that, once an audit’s complete, you can store it for as long as necessary, as proof of compliance with standards.
How Checklists Work For You?
Checklists can break down complex plans into manageable, actionable steps. Well-written checklist questions guide whoever is using them through the inspection. And they allow them to complete the audit quickly and effectively. They can also help whoever is using them to come to a concrete answer for each question by removing the chance for judgment calls: with customizable response types such as; yes, no, or a measurement.
Facilities that have comprehensive safety checklist programs in place and self-audit programs typically find themelves better prepared for a surprise Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection.
The most important thing to remember about safety checklists: There is no doubt that most incidents are caused by behavior, but some checklists only check physical things and work environments. Focus your attention on behaviors and not just things.
Routine self-audits are the most cost-effective method of, not only discovering safety hazards that need correction but also for helping to ensure compliance with OSHA regulations. Costs associated with occupational safety and health hazards, beyond the potential fines, can be reduced if you are able to identify and correct the hazard before it becomes a real problem. You can also lower man-hours lost through workers’ compensation and sick leave and your productivity can remain high. Some insurance carriers even partner with OSHA to reduce premiums for those employers who perform self-audits.
What You Want in a Safety Checklist!
The most thorough means for performing a self-audit is to use a safety checklist for each work area. The size and diversity of the business dictate how many checklists it will require. It also affects how much detail should be in each one. While there is no standard checklist format, it should include several key features:
- Name of auditor and date inspected
- Description and a specific regulatory citation for all pertinent regulations, with a space to note deficiencies
- A feasible completion date for deficiencies found
- Initials and/or the date when all corrections have been completed
- Identification of present hazards. (Inspections can reduce injury and illness rates within the workplace by keeping track of these.)
Many employers consider staying on top of potential hazards the right thing to do. Performing self-audits and acting upon any findings will help keep you compliant with OSHA regulations.