How To Build A Safety Inspection Checklist: 5 Steps

Safety checklists protect employees and ensure that all of your practices, standards, and procedures are OSHA compliant. Whether you already have a paper-based checklist and are looking to move to digital tools or are starting from scratch, here are five steps to build a safety inspection checklist for your teams.

1. Determine your safety inspection checklist needs

Workplace safety requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mean that employees have the right to a safe place to work. Building a workplace safety inspection checklist means starting with an audit to see how you’re doing so far right now.

Using guidance from OSHA’s training manual on workplace safety, or other safety regulations that apply to your industry, examine what’s in place in terms of safety. Then consider if you already have some version of a proper checklist to ensure compliance.

In addition to figuring out which safety inspection checklists you have in place, consider the format. If you’ve routinely done paper-based checklists, this might mean also considering how they are stored and for how long.

You should look for OSHA safety inspection checklists that cover daily, weekly, monthly, and annual safety inspection tasks. These tasks might be something as simple as checking fire extinguishers monthly, or they might be much more complex.

2. Look to other examples

Once you’ve determined which safety inspection checklists need attention (or are missing entirely), it’s time to take a look at good examples for starting inspiration. You may not follow the exact format of a sample checklist, and you might have additional items, but they’re a good place to start.

Consider safety inspection checklists that include:

OSHA also has plenty of tools to help guide you and to ensure compliance.

When considering what to include on your checklists, think about the ways in which these topics might be trained, too. This can help break larger safety areas into more actionable checklist items.

3. Work with SMEs to build your workplace safety inspection checklist

Subject matter experts (SMEs) and local leaders are key in building out your checklists

Once you figure out which checklists need updating or creation, SMEs help you to focus in on the most actionable and important steps for each site. SMEs can also help you develop both the safety inspection checklist and serve as expert support to develop training materials for employees who need it.

Note that your needs might evolve as conditions change, your company offers more services, or regulations change.

For example, consider the COVID-19 pandemic and sometimes-daily changes to PPE regulations and recommendations on how to protect frontline workers. SMEs helped business leaders decide which safety standards needed to be updated, and when.

Otherwise, consult SMEs for things like your:

  • Construction safety checklist
  • General industry safety checklist
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) checklist
  • Fall protection checklist
  • Healthcare industry safety checklist

Once you have broad categories for your industry, you’ll drill down into tasks that include:

  • Required worker clothing and gear
  • What training a worker needs in order to do their job safely
  • Site-specific safety checks
  • Procedural elements for safe work (i.e., which steps occur and in what order)
  • Emergency procedures if an injury occurs
  • Listing of reports, compliance actions, or other accountability requirements for OSHA

Your SME can do a deep-dive into each of these categories and create actionable checklists for managers, supervisors, and employees.

4. Build safety checklists that are automated or site-specific

A safety checklist is only as good as its utility. You might have the most elegant list in the world, but if it’s not accessible onsite or when you need it, it’s not helpful.

Mobile solutions like PinPoint WorkForce offer you the chance to build safety inspection checklists at every location that employees can access in the palm of their hand.

With geofencing capabilities, your workers can receive push notifications when they enter a specific job site or location. Your team leads can also easily create and customize performance support checklists right from the app. Because of this, PinPoint keeps workers safe and up to date, even as new regulations roll out.

Mobile native tools also mean that users can access the safety inspection checklist even when internet connectivity is weak. User-friendly pages in PinPoint Workforce’s performance support library mean that employees have the tools they need to safely do their job, wherever they are.

Learn more about PinPoint’s performance support capabilities!

5. Incorporate ongoing audits to ensure compliance

Once your checklists are built out and in place, it’s crucial to keep an eye on compliance issues. Ongoing audits are important not just for the safety of your workers but also to make sure that your company is up-to-date with any new issues, regulations, or rules for your industry.

Again, tools like PinPoint automatically track user data and create detailed reports so you can get a high-level view of your teams.

Build your safety inspection checklist

At EdgePoint Learning, we work with PinPoint to create agile, mobile-first tools for employees on the job. Our location-aware safety inspection checklists are mobile and can be tailored to your specific industry or specialization.

Need help getting started on a safety inspection checklist, or have more questions about how EdgePoint and PinPoint Workforce can deliver safety compliance in the flow of work? Get in touch today!

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