March is the time of year that most construction companies and manufacturing companies are gearing up for the busy part of their year. With the planning of operations and purchasing of materials and equipment, most companies tend to forget that performing safety inspections at this time of year can identify potential hazards and prepare employees for safe habits around the workplace throughout the year. Why should companies perform workplace inspections? Well the first answer is positive statistics. In 2012, a California workplace study showed that companies that performed workplace safety inspections had an over 9% drop in injury claims and a 26% savings on workers compensation costs. Furthermore, inspected firms saved an estimated $355,000.00 in injury claims and compensation paid for during a four year span from 2008-2012. OSHA recommends the following for what to look for in safety inspections:
1. Look for hazards in any workplace environment. Hazards can include inadequate machine or equipment guards, unsafe conditions, unsafe workplace habits or practices, biological hazards, chemical hazards, ergonomic hazards, and other miscellaneous physical hazards.
2. Diagram all workplace areas.
3. Inventory of all work equipment.
4. Inventory of all chemicals used in conducting work.
5. Preparing checklists to make sure proper people are responsible and in control of area potential hazard in the workplace.
6. Recording all inspections in a report in a timely consistent manner. Reports must also be well written and include recommendations from the people performing the safety inspections.
Failing to conduct safety inspections on a regular basis opens companies up to more work place environment risks, injuries, and fines from a number of government agencies. Conducting safety inspections helps to protect the bottom line, the profitability of any company.