There are 23,000 on-the-job injuries every day in the United States alone. The cost of those injuries, both in economic and human terms, can be huge, so it’s best to do everything you can to avoid them.
Workplace facilities can be made safer and more efficient with the help of a facility inspection checklist. It includes regular tests, inspections, and preventive maintenance to make sure that the facility is set up properly and your employees can work to the best of their ability.
What is facility inspection?
Facility inspection refers to the regular checks that are performed to identify and remove workplace hazards that put employees at risk and violate OSHA regulations. But more than that, it’s about ensuring that workers are safe and comfortable in industrial facilities, warehouses, and office environments and can operate smoothly and efficiently.
Your facility is an ever-changing environment. Things get moved, new equipment gets brought in, and tools get damaged and wear out. New hazards and risks are created all the time, and without regular inspections, you have no way of knowing what needs to be fixed or replaced.
Performing regular maintenance inspections helps you to identify and resolve potential issues before something goes wrong. Spotting and fixing safety hazards early reduces the risk of compensation payments or time lost while an employee is on medical leave. It also helps to improve the morale of employees, as no one wants to be in a workplace where their safety or comfort is compromised.
With workplace inspections commonplace, carrying out regular inspections with the regulations in mind will also help to ensure your compliance and save you from an OSHA citation or a hefty fine.
What is a facility checklist?
The best way to check that your facility is safe, operational, and hazard-free is to create a comprehensive checklist that is specific to your workplace. That replaces vague inspections with a step-by-step process for analyzing workplaces, equipment, and health and safety procedures.
As a facility manager or business owner, you may feel that you can spot any issues quickly as you walk through your facility. However, a checklist ensures that you don’t miss anything during your inspection and removes the headache of having to remember what needs to be checked and when.
These are some of the other benefits of using a facility inspection checklist:
- You can progress systematically through the workplace to keep the process organized, focused, and as efficient as possible.
- Written records provide accountability for those in charge of health and safety.
- Written records are beneficial when it comes to inspections by outside agencies. They show that regular and thorough inspections have been carried out in line with your responsibilities.
- A systematic approach shows workers that their health and safety is a priority. In turn, that makes them take safety more seriously and gives employees more confidence in your business as an employer.
- If the facility manager is unavailable and cannot perform the inspection, the presence of a checklist makes it much easier for someone else to do.
How do you prepare an inspection checklist?
Your facility inspection checklist should include all of the items or areas that could either pose a risk to workers or that are regulated by OSHA. Every facility must create its own checklist to ensure that all areas and items are included. That being said, some common items can help to form the basis of your checklist.
Damage to surfaces and floors
A good place to start your checklist is to look for any damaged surfaces in the building, such as:
Next, do a sweep of the building to make sure that there aren’t any obstructions that could get in the way of employees. Corridors should be clear, work areas tidy, and vehicles parked in their designated bays. Check all of the following:
- Loading docks
- Storage areas
General hygiene and cleanliness
Some mess might be inevitable in an industrial facility or warehouse, but the key is to check that there’s nothing that poses a risk.
- Make sure no trash is lying around or bins are overflowing
- Check for spills
- Make sure bathrooms and kitchens are clean
- Check that floors have been swept, vacuumed, or mopped
A safe workplace is properly lit. You should check that the lights are working and that you have spare bulbs for an immediate replacement. Inspect:
- Loading docks
- Storage areas
- Reception area
Check that they are in the right locations and that they have been inspected according to the schedule.
Fire sprinkler system
Make sure that the fire sprinkler system has been tested according to the schedule and is working properly.
First aid kit
Check that first aid kits are available, in the correct location, and fully stocked.
Emergency exit signs
Make sure that all emergency exit signs are lit as appropriate, in place, and working.
Check that the facility is well ventilated to combat dust and fumes. In smaller businesses, it might be a case of checking that windows open properly.
Check items are stacked safely
Whether it’s a warehouse or an office, make sure that items that are being stored are stacked safely. Check for rack load limits, make sure items are stacked in the right way, and conduct a visual inspection.
Check aisles are wide enough
Make sure that aisles are free from obstructions and are wide enough to accommodate forklifts, carts, and any other vehicles that employees use.
Check that everything works and make sure that all electrical items have been properly tested.
Make sure that all of the safety equipment required by workers is present, in the correct location, available in the required quantity, and is in a satisfactory condition. That includes:
- Hard hats
- Safety gloves
- Eye protection
- Foot protection
- High visibility clothing
Make sure all tools are accounted for, in the right location, and are in an acceptable condition.
If your employees operate vehicles on behalf of the business, then check:
- That they are working
- That they have fuel
- The location of all vehicle keys
- That they are parked in their designated bays
Workplace bathrooms must work properly and have the necessary supplies.
- Check that the flush, soap dispensers, and hand dryers work
- Make sure that cubicles have enough toilet paper and that soap dispensers have plenty of soap
Ensure that all electrical equipment has been tested, is in the correct location, and functions properly.
Check that all flammable liquids are accounted for, are in approved containers, and are labeled and stored safely.
Make sure that the water cooler has a good supply of fresh water and is clean.
Once everything on your inspection checklist has been covered, it’s worth writing a quick final summary of your thoughts along with any comments that should be recorded.
Monthly, weekly, and daily facility inspections
There is no definitive response to how frequently you should carry out facility inspections. That all depends on factors such as the size and nature of your business, the risk level, and the number of incidents or near misses that have occurred.
As a general rule, on large, very high-risk sites, it might be appropriate to carry out checks daily, particularly those that focus on health and safety elements such as the presence of obstructions. For most other sites, weekly or monthly safety checks should be carried out with a full inspection taking place at least once every quarter.
How EAM software can help streamline, track, and manage inspections
ManagerPlus® EAM software makes it easy to manage the whole facility inspection process. You can create weekly, monthly, and quarterly facility inspection checklists for your business and store them securely within the software for quick access, wherever you are. You can also upload and keep track of your completed inspection reports for proof of compliance come audit time.
Take a live, personalized demo with one of our experts to see for yourself how ManagerPlus can help you simplify inspections for safer and healthier facilities.
Regular facility inspections make your workplace safer and more efficient. Read about the regular tests, inspections, and preventive maintenance that you should perform and find out how ManagerPlus helps you simplify the whole process.