The Importance Of Proper Workplace Safety Inspections


Safety is a serious consideration for any company. When workers see a company making an effort to inspect a workplace frequently, it increases the awareness and existence of a safety positive culture, as well as indicates a company cares about the well-being of its workers. Involving workers in such inspections increases their participation and desire to stay safe in their work and aid in keeping their coworkers safe. Companies that put effort into performing workplace reviews and creating solutions to hazards are more successful at ensuring their workers remain engaged and safe in their daily work. Workplace inspections help avert incidents, injuries, and illnesses. Through a critical investigation of the workplace, inspections assist in identifying and recording hazards for remedial action.

The specific functions of these inspections include the following:

  • Pinpointing already existing or potentially hazardous conditions
  • Increasing awareness that leads to the prevention of workplace accidents and illnesses
  • Determining the underlying causes of those dangers
  • Monitoring hazard management
  • Recommending corrective actions to address each issue at hand
  • Listening to workers’ and supervisors’ concerns
  • Offering a different understanding of jobs and tasks from the perspective of safety standards
  • Ensuring standards and regulations compliance 


What Types of Hazards to Look For In A Workplace?

It is fair to assume that there are safety hazards in every workplace, but the question is how to determine which ones have the most potential to harm workers? By identifying hazards at your workplace before an incident, you will be more prepared to control them and prevent accidents, injuries, property damage, and downtime. 

Before starting any new project, job, or task, it is recommended that you do a hazard assessment or job safety analysis, with the sole purpose of anticipating (within reason) any hazards or hazardous conditions that could occur. The controls for stopping or minimizing these hazards can be determined and implemented once identified. Hazard assessments should also happen when making substantial changes to a project, task, or job. If a business works with, handles, or stores and transports hazardous materials such as chemicals, hazardous waste and materials used in the workplace, it is critical to understand their hazards and risks and know how to work with them safely.

Types of workplace hazards include:

  • Safety hazards are caused by inadequate machine guards, unsafe workplace conditions, and unsafe work practices.
  • Biological hazards are caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
  • Chemical hazards are caused by a solid, liquid, vapour, gas, dust, fume, or mist.
  • Ergonomic hazards are caused by physiological and psychological demands on the worker, such as repetitive and forceful movements, awkward postures from improper work methods, and poorly designed workstations, tools, and equipment.
  • Physical hazards are caused by noise, vibration, energy, weather, heat, cold, electricity, radiation, and pressure.
  • Psychosocial hazards that can affect mental health or well-being include overwork, stress, bullying, or violence.


How Often Should a Company Perform a Site Safety Inspection?

Canada Labour Code recommends workplaces be inspected monthly by the workplace committee or the health and safety representative. However, additional variables should be considered when determining the frequency of conducting site safety inspections. 

Here are a few for consideration:

  • Company or project-specific guidelines for safety inspections
  • Number of workers per shift
  • High-risk activities and imminent danger
  • Introduction of new workers, work processes, or pieces of equipment
  • Incidents, accidents, near misses

Routine inspections are critical to good accident prevention, occupational disease, and fire prevention programs. In addition, they ensure that workplaces comply with the requirements laid out in the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.


What Should You Examine During a Workplace Inspection?

Every inspection must scrutinize who, what, where, when and how. You should pay particular attention to items that are or have the potential to develop into unsafe or unhealthy conditions. These can be due to stress, wear, impact, vibration, heat, corrosion, chemical reaction, or misuse. 

It should also include areas where no work is done regularly, such as parking lots, rest areas, office storage areas and locker rooms.

Remember to look at all workplace details – the people, the environment, the equipment, and the process. The environment includes noise, vibration, lighting, temperature, and ventilation hazards. Equipment includes materials, tools, and apparatus for creating a product or a service. Finally, the process involves how the worker interacts with the other elements in a series of tasks or operations.

The examples summarized below do not list all possible items but provide a basic checklist of things to look for. 

ENVIRONMENT Dust, Gases, Fumes, Sprays, Lighting, Noise, Ventilation 
BUILDINGS Windows, Doors, Floors, Stairs, Roofs, Walls, Elevators
CONTAINERS Scrap Bins, Disposal Receptacles, Barrels, Carboys, Gas Cylinders, Solvent Cans
ELECTRICAL Switches, Cables, Outlets, Connectors, Grounding, Connections, Breakers
FIRE PROTECTION EQUIPMENT Extinguishers, Hoses, Hydrants, Sprinkler Alarm Systems, Access to Equipment
HAND TOOLS Wrenches, Screwdrivers, Saws, Power Tools, Explosive Actuated Tools
HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS Flammable, Explosive, Oxidizing, Gases Under Pressure, Corrosive, Toxic/Health Hazards, Biohazardous Infectious, Environmental
MATERIALS HANDLING Conveyors, Cranes, Hoists, Hoppers, Carts, Dollies, Bins, Etc.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT Hard Hats, Safety Glasses, Respirators, Safety, Footwear, Gloves, Etc.
PRESSURIZED EQUIPMENT Boilers, Vats, Tanks, Piping, Hoses, Couplings, Valves, Hydraulics, etc.
PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT Mills, Shapers, Cutters, Borers, Presses, Lathes, Robotics, etc.
PERSONNEL SUPPORT EQUIPMENT Ladders, Scaffolds, Platforms, Catwalks, Staging
POWERED EQUIPMENT Engines, Electrical Motors, Compressor Equipment
STORAGE FACILITIES Racks, Bins, Shelves, Cabinets, Closets, Yards, Floors
WALKWAYS AND ROADWAYS Aisles, Ramps, Docks, Vehicle Ways
PROTECTIVE GUARDS Gear Covers, Pulleys, Belt Screens, Workstation, Guards, Railings, Drives, Chains
SAFETY DEVICES Valves, Emergency Switches, Cut-Offs, Warning Systems, Limit Switches, Mirrors, Sirens, Signs
CONTROLS Start-Up Switches, Steering Mechanisms, Speed Controls, Manipulating Controls
LIFTING COMPONENTS Handles, Eyebolts, Lifting Lugs, Hooks, Chains, Ropes, Slings
HYGIENE AND FIRST AID FACILITIES Drinking Fountains, Washrooms, Safety Showers, Eyewash Fountains, First Aid Supplies, Contact List for First Aid Responders, etc.
PSYCHOSOCIAL HAZARDS Discussion with or observation of employees who may mention work scheduling issues, workload (pace of work/too much/too little), hours of work, fatigue, issues that interrupt concentration, poor communication, conflicting demands, working in conflict with others, working in social isolation, or working alone



Jobsite and facility safety inspections are among the most useful ways to identify unsafe conditions at your establishment. Our expert team of professionals trained in onsite safety services are happy to walk beside you and determine CCOHS compliance and general safety concerns for your company. In addition, these valuable inspections will enable us to work with your company to help establish a practical way to mitigate all uncovered deficiencies. 

The solution may entail training your personnel, changing your procedures, or other methods. Whatever the outcome, we believe in finding solutions to your problems before they become serious accidents.

Global Hazmat is committed to helping solve your safety concerns, affording you more time to focus on other areas of your business.
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