If your company has just had a major accident or has been referred by a third-party to safety inspectors, it may be necessary to prepare for a safety inspection. However, most of your preparation should take place long before the inspection actually takes place. What can you do to be ready for such an event?
Make Sure Your Safety or Emergency Response Plan Is Written Down
The first thing that a safety inspector is going to want to see is a written safety plan or emergency response plan. This shows that your organization has gone through the process of identifying hazards and ways to mitigate them. Safety inspection software may help you organize all the relevant documents related to such a plan as well as any incident reports that you may have compiled and sent to the proper authorities.
Explain Why the Accident Happened and What Has Changed Since
Inspectors know that accidents happen and that no plan is foolproof when it comes to ensuring the safety of all workers. The important thing is that you understand why an accident happened and have made changes to reduce the odds that a similar situation happens again. For instance, if a worker was hurt cleaning a machine, you may be able to point to the fact that you bought safety mechanisms for that machine or are providing additional training for employees.
Make Sure That You Are Compliant With All Regulations
Before an inspection, make sure that you are in compliant with all applicable safety and employment regulations. This may mean having signs posted informing employees of their rights or making sure that hazardous materials are labeled properly. If you are not compliant or make no effort to come into compliance, it could result in large fines or even the closure of your company until issues are resolved.
Be Upfront and Honest With Inspectors
It is critical that all questions are answered honestly and completely either by yourself or by a representative of the company. Employees should be made available for interviews if necessary. Furthermore, inspectors may want to take a walk around your facility to determine if there are any violations or to be sure that fixes were made as ordered in the past. While you may not want inspectors to find anything, they will go much easier on you if you are honest about potential safety hazards or violations as opposed to trying to cover them up.
A safety inspection can be a great opportunity to learn about what your company is doing right and what it needs to improve upon. As long as you are honest, working in good faith to be in compliance and have thorough records handy, the inspection should go smoothly.