Accidents and injuries that are a direct result of the lack of proper inspections seem rare. Unless you are in the safety industry or the accident is big enough to make the news, workplace tragedies just don't seem common.
Unfortunately accidents, injuries and even fatalities happen more often than we realize. According to the 2019 Report on Work Fatality and Injury Rates in Canada by the University of Regina, there are some shocking statistics that we need to recognize. For example, in 2017, there were more than 250,000 lost-time injuries claims across the country. What's worse, there were a total of 326 injury-related fatalities as well.
Inspections can prevent the little things from becoming big things
In one real-life case, a maintenance worker on an aircraft didn't take duct tape off of a static port. These ports are critical for a plane to show proper data like altitude levels and as a result during flight the pilot received conflicting warnings on his computer. The plane tried to get back to the airport, at what was believed to be a safe altitude, when in fact it was not. The result was a disaster – the plane crashed in the ocean, and everyone died.
In essence, this shows how a simple inspection oversight can result in a massive tragedy that cannot be erased. The best thing we can do moving forward is to learn from these tragedies and recognize how preventable they are when a proper and thorough inspection takes place.
Maintenance and Inspections go Hand-in-Hand
Maintenance can help prevent little things from becoming big tragedies but without mandated regular inspections that are real checks—and not simply pencil-whipped documentation—many problems that could be prevented or repaired for relatively little cost go undiscovered and/or unreported until the problem’s seriousness and cost escalate.
Canada's busiest highway, the 401, has made the news in recent years because of a rash of accidents involving wheels flying off of transport trucks. By law, drivers are required to do a daily inspection on their truck before they hit the road and Ontario’s fines for having an unsafe rig are some of the heftiest in North America ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000 depending on the severity of the infraction. Yet these accidents happen when many could be avoided by a daily inspection.
Proper Inspecting is Simple
Without them the results can be devastating. Your company needs to invest in inspection software and inspection books that will assist your personnel to effectively perform all the necessary inspections, audits, and asset management procedures.