A consistent and effective approach to inspecting facilities, equipment, materials, processes, procedures, and buildings is necessary to prevent illnesses, injuries, and potential hazards

Step 1—Preparation

The first step of conducting an inspection is to ensure you have the answer to three questions?

  1. What will I inspect? It sounds like common sense, but you need to know ahead of time what you are actually inspecting. The requirements to inspect a construction site are much different than a wheel loader, for example.
  2. How will I inspect? Will you be using a paper checklist form or software? Do you have a floor plan? Do you have any special instructions that must be followed to complete your inspection?
  3. When will I inspect? Make sure you have set aside enough time to complete the inspection.

Step 2—Training

Workplace inspections aren’t necessarily complex, but they can be. It’s essential to train any personnel who will conduct inspection. They need to know the area, assets, potential hazards, controls, and how to use information from previous inspections. They should also be familiar with the data from previous accident and maintenance reports.

Step 3—Inspection

Inspecting requires attention to detail. Inspectors need to be fully alert and keep their eyes and ears open for all potential hazards. Checklists guide inspectors, but a safety mindset is also important.

Step 4—Documentation

If an inspection checklist book or inspection software is used when conducting the inspection, any defects or hazards will be documented in the results of the inspection. By maintaining a detailed record of the inspection, where it was conducted, when it was conducted and what risks were identified, it is easy to prove due diligence should you ever need to do so.

Step 5—Closing the Loop

Once an inspection is complete and any potential hazards identified, it’s crucial to close the loop by ensuring actions are taken to address any issues. Ideally, there will be a record of the inspector informing management or maintenance about defects and problems. Software tools like The Checker Software automatically ensure a copy of the completed inspection checklist is sent to a supervisor.


The top priority of any inspection is to assist in eliminating or significantly reducing the chance of injury and incidents. The five steps above are a great place to begin ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your inspections.

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Tags: why inspect?, inspection basics


Learn how inspections can increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve safety in a systematic way that can be sustained as a competitive advantage.