Safetip #68: Perform Both General and Special Inspections
OSHA Encourages a Mixed Approach for Inspections
An EHS Daily Adviser article, Check Yourself Out: Three Self-Audit Tips, explains that there are two types of inspections:
- General Inspections: These inspections are thorough, complete reviews of all occupational safety and health exposures that could lead to greater risks of incidents. General inspections typically cover an entire site or plant.
- Special Inspections: These inspections are targeted and focus on a specific occupational safety and health risk area in a part of a plant or even a full facility. The EHS Daily Adviser article provides the following examples: Electrical hazards in machinery used for manufacturing; hazards that may have led to back injuries; and a branch’s compliance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, including the availability of compliant Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).
Ideally an inspection program should include both general and special inspections, and there should be a rotation of both types of inspections. For example, one month there could be a complete plant tour for safety hazards, and the next month there could be an inspection focused on personal protective equipment (PPE), EHS Daily Adviser says. In fact, OSHA encourages this type of mixed approach.
Mobility Makes Inspections Easier
Since you’re not in front of a computer when conducting inspections in the field or remote locations, or while moving through a plant, consider using mobile apps for inspections, rather than conducting them manually. With mobile apps for inspections, you can complete checklists based on the type of inspection selected, and attach media files (images, videos, audio files) and geolocation information to inspection records. In addition, you can even perform inspections offline, and then synchronize data with your enterprise EHS platform once you get back online.
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