OSHA inspections can happen for many reasons. Inspectors can show up because one of your workers was seriously injured, a complaint was reported or your industry falls into a high-hazard category. Regardless of why an OSHA inspection is about to occur or how prepared you feel for the safety inspection, it can be a stressful process. Avoid assuming you’re already safe enough, as OSHA may catch issues you didn’t realize were problematic during their workplace safety inspection.
If your business does not pass the OSHA inspection, your company could face major penalties or other inconvenient courses of action. To prevent this from happening, we have put together an easy-to-follow workplace health and safety audit checklist so you and your team are ready in the event that OSHA arrives.
5 Considerations for your Workplace Health And Safety Audit Checklist
1. Employee Knowledge and Training
Workplace health and safety starts with your workforce. That’s why every OSHA inspection is going to gauge and audit the safety aptitude of your employees. Here’s how you can prepare so there aren’t any violations hiding around your facility.
- Make sure your employees have gone through the necessary safety training, document training, and make sure you’re conducting training annually, or as needed.
- Appoint one employee responsible for the safety program.
- Have a working procedure on how to handle employee complaints in a timely manner.
- Have a formal disciplinary procedure as to how safety is communicated to your team.
Properly communicate safe work practices and company expectations.
- Create an employee handbook and company policy manual that your employees are required to read.
- Create written programs to comply with OSHA and other regulatory agencies that pertain to your workplace hazards.
- Create a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for each job task or procedure. Review with employees so they know the hazards associated with performing their job and document all training.
- Create written emergency action plans and train accordingly.
When your workers are handling tools and equipment, it’s crucial you ensure they know how to use them correctly.
- Make sure proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is always provided for employees where hazards have been recognized and PPE has been determined to be necessary. This includes—but is not limited to—goggles, hardhats, gloves, aprons, shields, respirators and more.
- Ensure fire extinguishers are accessible, conduct training and ensure that appropriate signage is visible.
- Require employees who work with high-risk equipment or tools have the correct initial training, review the JHA and conduct ongoing training.
- Ensure proper machine guarding is in place, and train employees on the hazards associated with removing, bypassing or compromising any machine guard device. i.e. saws, power tools, mills, lathes, punch presses, bending machines, shears, drills, etc.
4. Chemical Usage
An OSHA inspection may gravitate toward chemicals or hazardous and toxic materials at the workplace. If you’re dealing with any chemicals, it’s important to mitigate the risk of exposure in the workspace.
- Create a chemical inventory for all chemicals in the workplace.
- Review all Safety Data Sheets (SDS) with employees where chemicals are present.
- Have a proper housekeeping program in place and follow all guidelines set forth in the SDS for cleanup, PPE, storage, etc.
5. Building and Grounds
Building and grounds are components that are often overlooked. When walking through your facility look at the following areas that may be a hazard or pose risk to an employee.
- Proper lighting.
- Ensure proper signage for exits, fire extinguishers, eye wash stations, evacuation shelters, first aid kits, etc.
- In work environments where oxygen is limited, ensure testing has been conducted to ensure proper levels are met.
- Proper stairway requirements, i.e. railings, step depth and width.
- Ensure egress exits are not blocked and free of obstructions.
- Ensure sidewalks are free of cracks and missing concrete to reduce slips, trips and falls.
- Make sure the facility floor is also free of cracks or chunks missing to ensure safe forklift operations and a safe walking working surface.
Let OECS help you make sure you’re ready for an OSHA inspection
Are you meeting all the requirements listed in the above workplace health and safety audit checklist? While this is a general checklist, it may not encompass all of a company’s risks and hazards. We encourage you to seek outside assistance if you are even remotely concerned.