What do you do after inspecting? Here is what I usually do.
Take the draft log you wrote while conducting the inspection and now identify the types the seriousness of the hazards that exist. This log should also include the location of hazard, a risk assessment code and any recommendation shows the correct hazard.
After the draft log is completed, you must also collate all the specific deficiencies to see if any systemic problems are involved. “For example, you may have found a fire extinguisher here and there that was discharged. Singularly, this may not seem like a big problem” (Fanning, 2003). However, when you add them together, you may find out that the contractor who was hired to service these extinguishers is doing a poor job. “If you report them separately, it is possible that no one will notice there is a problem. They will normally call the contractor to fix the problem” (Fanning, 2003).
There is a big payoff to fixing systemic problems. “For example, it may be cheaper for a person or contractor to repair several light switches at one time than it is to come out and fix each one as you find them. Systemic repairs also keep the system in check to make sure it is working” (Fanning, 2003).
A cover letter should accompany the log. This letter should give a general description of the inspection and identify systemic causes written so employees can understand and work with the report (Inspection Techniques and Hazard Recognition, 1985). The log must list corrective measures that should be taken to correct the systemic problem.
Workplace notices should be placed at the sites of any high hazards that are found and not immediately corrected. These notices should identify the hazard and explain that it is a high risk. The notice should also identify control measures to reduce the risk until it can be fixed. Furthermore, the notice should identify the person responsible for correcting the hazard and the deadline for correcting it. This will ensure the workforce knows about the hazard and will take steps to ensure it doesn’t cause an accident.
A follow-up inspection should be conducted within 90 days to keep the focus on correcting the hazards and to see if there is some assistance you can provide to help them succeed. This does not have to be a complete inspection. It is just a follow-up and should focus on the problems you identified in the first inspection. However, if you do not conduct the follow-up to correct the systemic problems within the organization, you will simply be doing the same work repeatedly. Perhaps, more importantly, management will be telling the task force that it is too busy with other issues to implement a permanent solution to the root cause of the hazards so they will continue to fix individual hazards as they come up. Once the workforce catches onto such an attitude, it will learn to work with the hazards around them. They will not focus on safety because the management has not demonstrated that safety is important.
Fanning, Fred. Basic Safety Administration: A Handbook for the New Safety Specialist. American Society of Safety Engineers, 2nd edition, Des Plaines, USA, Jun 2003.