The Importance of Regular Inspections for Employee Safety

published Oct 11, 2019
1 min read

Employee Safety

Plenty of hazards exist in the modern work environment, whether you manage an office or run a manufacturing plant. In 2017, 5,147 employees died on the job — more than 14 deaths per day.

The employer must mitigate these risks with regular safety inspections. Whether formal or informal, the process seeks to identify existing and potential hazards, then implement corrective action.

There are several common types of workplace inspections, including:

  • Routine: Inspections carried out regularly, such as weekly or monthly
  • Spot: Randomised reviews done on occasion to ensure compliance
  • Critical parts: Inspection of elements with high potential for serious accidents

Inspections should be a standard procedure in your employee safety strategy. Here are several reasons why.

You Can Save Money

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) sets forth safety standards and regulations that businesses are required to follow. They make it clear that employees must have a work environment free from hazards that can cause harm or death.

To uphold these regulations, OSHA sends out compliance officers to perform inspections of businesses. An employer can face hefty fines if found to be in violation. Unfortunately, the agency is small, with roughly one officer for every 59,000 workers.

Violations can slip through the cracks, and when they do, people can get hurt. According to OSHA, the top offenses in 2018 included:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolding
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Control of hazardous energy

Fortunately, worker deaths in America are down. In 1970 there was an average of 38 deaths per day, compared to 14 in 2017.

You Can Prevent Injury

Regular inspections for worker safety can be vital to your injury and illness prevention efforts. It’s crucial to educate employees about proper procedures and practices when hazards occur.

An injury can keep an employee out of work for months at a time. This productivity loss is costly for the business, negatively affecting its bottom line.

In 2017, workplace injuries cost employers more than $161 billion, including wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses and uninsured costs.

Comparatively, the average cost for all workers’ compensation claims from 2016 to 2017 was $40,051. The implementation of employee safety procedures can ultimately save companies money.

You Can Promote Positivity

Employers are responsible for each person who walks through the door. It’s not about a piece of paper or filling out the right form. Workplace inspections are a way to protect your employees and anyone else with access to the worksite.

Inspections reassure employees that you care about their health and where they work. You’re actively looking for problems — not to sweep under the rug, but to fix. Constant optimisation is the key to happy and healthy workers.

Some employers have gone above and beyond in employee safety, tackling dangers hidden to the naked eye. With concerns about air pollution, many seek LEED certification, which promotes a healthy interior.

LEED-certified buildings focus on ventilation, pollutant reduction and filtration. As air moves through the system, it will remove contaminants such as:

  • Ozone
  • Particulates
  • Formaldehyde
  • Carbon monoxide

Schedule Regular Inspections for Employee Safety

Now that you understand the importance of regular inspections, it’s time to implement an effective plan.

To outline your safety strategy, answer the four key questions below:

  1. Who will carry out the inspection?
  2. Which workplaces require checking?
  3. How frequent should you schedule inspections?
  4. How will you implement corrective measures?

Ensure the policy is written and available to all employees. After an inspection occurs, always keep the data for further analysis. With this information, you can identify the need for training, explain why certain accidents occur and identify areas at high risk.


Emily Folk is a conservation and sustainability freelance writer. Check out her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter for the latest updates.