The Checker Blog

Five Ways to Prolong the Value of Your Assets

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Tue, Dec 18, 2018 @ 03:00 PM

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The so-called Age of Efficiency is upon us. For the past several decades, the consensus was to buy cheap, wear out, and buy again. But this model has proven to be inefficient. It also greatly strains the environment. 

A more sensible and logical approach to the issue is to prolong the life and, by extension, the value of your assets. This approach ensures you achieve the highest ROI possible, all the while keeping your carbon footprint at a minimum. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved. 

So, what are the five most natural things you can do to prolong the value of your assets? 

Doing Regular Maintenance

Taking the necessary time to create a scheduled preventative maintenance plan is an excellent way of preventing any minor issues from turning into large and expensive events.

You can even turn to a bit of predictive maintenance. By looking at the manufacturer's service records, you can predict when your equipment needs repair, based on the average lifespan of various components, the extent of their daily usage, etc.  

Employee Training

Your employees should be trained on the proper handling and maintenance of the tools and equipment they handle. It's important to remember that, since assets such as these are not employees’ personal property, they will frequently disregard their value, thinking it's not their problem if they break down. 

And while this is technically true, since you will be the one who will have to pay for repairs or replacements, your employees should nevertheless be trained on how to handle company assets correctly. Not only will this prolong an asset’s life, it will ensure the users' safety. Even seasoned workers may need refresher training from time to time.

Conducting Regular Inspections 

Regular inspections for compliance are not only mandatory but also a great way to keep your assets working better and longer. These inspections are specifically for identifying any potentially hazardous conditions, determining the root causes of those risks, and monitoring hazard controls. They also recommend corrective actions, take into account employee and supervisor concerns, and offer further understanding of safety standards. 

Keeping Clear Records

Recordkeeping transparency plays an equally crucial role in maintaining the value of your assets for a prolonged period. By knowing what inspections and maintenance have been performed, your staff can determine with a higher degree of accuracy when the next review is due. This ties in with the predictive maintenance mentioned above. 

Proper Housekeeping

Keeping the workspace clean and organized is yet another easy step you can take to protect the value of your assets. You should make a habit of cleaning the floor after work hours have ended and make sure that assets are safely stored away from the elements.

Takeaway

Prolonging the life and value of your assets should not be something hard to do. With a bit of care and mindfulness, it can be easily achieved. And by using The Checker, you will ensure that all of your inspections, audits, and maintenance plans are up-to-date and performed on a regular basis, leaving no stone unturned.

Topics: equipment maintenance, inspections and profitability, why inspect?, legal compliance

The Importance of Inspections for Compliance

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, Jun 04, 2018 @ 09:13 AM

The importance of inspections for compliance

It is always disheartening to hear news about various workplace disasters. It is also during this time that questions begin to arise – question such as what happened, who is to blame, and could this have been avoided? It is no surprise that regulatory safety inspections will improve the safety of employees. Inspections should be an essential for any organization, regardless of their field of business.  

These inspections have several specific functions that include:

  • Identifying already existing or potentially hazardous conditions
  • Determining the underlying causes of those hazards
  • Monitoring hazard controls
  • Recommending corrective action that could address each issue at hand
  • Listening to concerns from workers and supervisors
  • Offering a further understanding of jobs and tasks from safety standards. 

The truth is, some managers are concerned about the organizational costs that revolve around compliance, opting instead to risk going without a safety inspection in the hopes that nothing wrong will happen. 

Nevertheless, statistics show that inspections lower the risk of an accident or an injury by 23%, even after three years. Random checks were shown to work equally as well, reducing the risk of injuries by 9% and, even more striking, the reduction of costs of reported injuries by up to 26%. 

The following factors usually dictate the frequency of these inspections:

  • National or regional legislation.
  • New processes and machinery that haven't been inspected
  • Past accidents or other incidents
  • The number and size of work operations
  • The type of equipment and work process

The Importance of Regulatory Inspections

There are several reasons why such regular inspections are right for an organization. For starters, failing to comply with safety standards can attract a hefty fine. If something terrible happens, that fine could be even higher. 

Secondly, there is a matter of reputation. No company is looking forward to appearing on the news when something wrong happens. It will attract unwanted publicity that will flag an organization for some time. 

The health and safety of your employees are also at play here. Even a minor accident such as a trip or a fall can lead to a severe accident which can put that employee in the hospital. When such an accident does occur within an organization, a company-wide drop in morale usually follows. 

Last but not least is a case of lost revenue. This will take on different forms, depending on the exact circumstances. Lost revenue after an accident or injury comes from reduced productivity as a result of lowered employee morale.

Negative media attention can also cause a reduction in sales or terms of partnership opportunities. Then, there is a matter of legal fees, fines, increased administrative costs related to the injury, damaged property, machinery, or tools, as well as the cost associated with a new hire - if applicable.  

Takeaway

Investing in regulatory inspections can and will increase revenue. If all goes well and these audits do their job, the day-to-day operations will run smoothly and without a hitch. But when accidents happen, there will be a significant disruption that will extend well beyond the incident itself. The company will spend considerable time of weeks or months to recover. A cloud-based piece of software, such as The Checker Software , will provide you with many valuable management tools for higher accuracy, effectiveness, and safety.

Topics: safety management, inspections and profitability, legal compliance, inspection best practices, why inspect?

5 Ways to Make Your Workplace Inspection Effective

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, May 28, 2018 @ 09:14 AM

5 way to make your workplace

Regular workplace inspections are essential in preventing all sorts of incidents, injuries, illnesses, property damages, or loss of revenue. There are some companies out there that for mainly financial reasons skip these inspections in the hopes of cutting on expenses. Unfortunately, however, this can only be considered a short-term solution at best or an accident waiting to happen, at worst.  

Only with a critical examination of the workplace enables business owners to save on costs, injury, and future liabilities. These inspections, if done professionally and regularly, will identify potential hazards, issue a corrective action, gain a deeper understanding of jobs and tasks performed, and listen to employee concerns. Here are five ways that will improve the effectiveness of your workplace inspection. 

1. Identifying Potentially Hazardous Situations

Every inspection needs to take a close look at all elements that comprise the workplace. It includes the who, what, where, when, and how. You should, nevertheless, pay extra close attention to such things as noise, lighting, temperature, vibration, and ventilation - elements that could develop into unsafe or unhealthy conditions down the line. Inspections also need to go out of the areas where work is regularly conducted, and extend to such places like the parking lot, locker rooms, rest area, etc. 

There are many types of workplace hazards that you need to look out for and classified as biological, chemical, ergonomic, physical, psychological, and safety hazards. Among them, there are things like inadequate machine guards or unsafe workplace conditions, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, repetitive and forceful movements, as well as prolonged awkward postures, improper or faulty equipment, noise, temperature, overwork, stress, or even violence. 

2. Listen to Employees Concerns

The employees most exposed to the day-to-day activities are the ones most qualified to address concerns. Their input will prove valuable in determining what areas need particular attention, as well as what improvements are necessary to streamline operations and increase productivity.

3. Identify Underlying Issues

When looking for health or safety issues within your workplace, you should not stop at just identifying them. Once such a hazard is detected, you should also try and look for any underlying issues that may have caused it firstly. Depending on the circumstances, these issues, if not identified, can result in the same problems to reappear. 

4. Report Everything to Management

Nothing should be left out or somehow swept under the rug, not during an inspection, or during every other day. The faster an issue is identified and reported, the easier and less costly it will be to fix. Whatever may seem out of the ordinary, potentially dangerous, or something that stifles productivity or wellbeing should be addressed as soon as possible, for everyone's benefit. 

5. Don't Just Say What's Wrong, Make Recommendations 

For a workplace inspection to be successful, it is not enough to merely point out what is wrong. Realistic solutions need to be brought forth to complete the circle and help improve conditions in the workplace.

Takeaway

Regular workplace inspections are not a drain on resources, as some managers may believe, but the exact opposite. They ensure that everything runs smoothly and without interruption, all the while keeping the workforce safe and productive. For an even more effective auditing process, consider The Checker Software , a fully integrated and scalable software solution.  

Topics: safety management, inspections and profitability, legal compliance, inspection best practices, why inspect?

Why You Should Inspect Cranes More Than You Have To

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, May 23, 2018 @ 09:51 AM

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When I talk to management for companies that use cranes, I always ask, “Do you inspect your cranes?”

An answer I often here is, “Of course, we do. We inspect them when we get them. And we inspect them again every year, as required.”

Standards vary worldwide, but OSHA’s rules for the U.S. are illustrative. A company can be in compliance with OSHA’s regulations for overhead and gantry cranes by conducting only one complete crane inspection a year.  

OSHA does require operators to daily keep an eye out for:

  • Maladjustment of any operating mechanism that interferes with proper operation
  • Deterioration or leakage in lines, tanks, valves, drain pumps, and other parts of air or hydraulic systems
  • Hooks with deformation or cracks
  • Hoist chains that are worn, twisted, or stretched beyond manufacturer recommendations
  • Excessive wear of any component.

 

But these aren’t necessarily formal inspections (i.e., documented, with each component of the crane clearly passing or failing). A formal inspection of the hoist chains is required monthly, but the other “inspections” can be done by simply looking to make sure there are no issues.

Depending on the activity, severity of service, and environment, formal inspections may be required more often than annually, but in normal conditions, once a year satisfies OSHA’s requirements. That’s just not enough. Annual inspections may keep regulators off your back (as long as no incidents occur), but inspecting cranes that infrequently is simply bad business.

Regulations about crane inspections shouldn’t even have to be put into writing. They’re beyond common sense—like don’t walk in the middle of a busy road. The potential cost of a crane accident is so far beyond the labor involved in conducting very frequent and documented crane inspections that’s it’s not even a close decision.

With a few minutes of inspecting a day, using inspection checklists for cranes, you can ensure that crane operators are actually doing their daily inspections. Plus, the completed checklists serve as documents confirming “no negligence” if anything terrible does happen.

Heavy machines and heavy loads, with humans and property all around—much is at risk. Why not reduce that risk as much as possible?

Takeaway

When it comes to crane safety, doing only the minimum inspecting required is risky business.  Using inspection checklists to conduct frequent crane inspections pays off by protecting against the potentially enormous human suffering and financial costs associated with crane failures.

Topics: vehicle safety, equipment maintenance, safety management, inspections and profitability, legal compliance

Safety Regulators Aren’t Playing Around About Workplace Safety

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, Mar 12, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

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How serious is workplace safety becoming? 

Well, it’s always been serious, because human lives and welfares are at stake. But now it’s becoming an increasingly serious business risk. 

Starting just a few months ago (Dec. 14, 2017), Ontario increased the maximum fines for failing to meet workplace health and standards from $500,000 to $1.5 million for corporations. (For individuals and unincorporated businesses, the increase was from $25,000 to $100,000.) 

In Ontario, any fine issued—including Ministry of Labour penalties—is also accompanied by a Victim of Crime surcharge, which is 25 percent of any fine more than $1,000. So, the $ 1.5 million maximum corporate fine would actually be $1.875 million. 

That’s serious money! 

Realistically, fines for an offence under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (or under U.S. OSHA) rarely rise to the maximum amount, but the point is made with the increase. The Ontario Ministry of Labour apparently believes fines haven’t been stiff enough.  

So, it’s a fair assumption that all fines will increase, regardless of the severity of the offense. 

The Ministry of Labour has already been active in enforcing safety—conducting more than 79,800 visits to 34,700 workplaces in 2016-17, issuing more than 118,000 orders due to non-compliance. In 2016, the courts imposed more than $11 million in fines, and many businesses aren’t looking forward to the prospect of even higher fines. 

However, Ontario’s action, while it could initially be seen as a threat, is actually good news for businesses that already understand the business value of safety and have been actively seeking to gain it. The risk of higher fines is a competitive disadvantage for their competitors lagging in safety. 

It’s heartening to see the Ministry of Labour take a meaningful step to reinforce the importance of keeping workers and the public safe. 

Our hope is that all companies take notice. Those that do will improve not just safety but their entire business. Those that don’t should be worried because regulators seem resolute in increasing the cost of non-compliance. 

A proven way to improve workplace safety and minimize the risk of regulatory fines is to routinely conduct safety audits and inspections using checklists. The Checker inspection checklist books can be used to guide and document proper audits and inspections—a strong step toward gaining the many business benefits of safety, including compliance. The Checker Software can do the same while also providing the tools to develop a comprehensive audit/inspection program that extracts all the available value from audits and inspections. 

Topics: safety audits, legal compliance, inspections and profitability, workplace safety, OSHA

A $50 book could save you $50,000

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, Feb 21, 2018 @ 09:37 AM

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We were recently approached by a municipality looking for inspection checklist books. Something bad had happened, and now they were focusing on inspections.

They had a front-end loader they used at a dump site. The loader never left that site, and it was never touched by  maintenance. And no one was inspecting it to see if it needed to be! They weren’t even checking its fluid levels on a regular basis.

Not surprisingly, the fluid levels fell too low, and the loader’s engine overheated, causing serious damage to the engine.

After they got the $50,000 repair bill, they couldn’t believe they had been so negligent as to not check the fluid levels. “What were we thinking,” they bemoaned to us.

Unfortunately, stories like that are common. In an effort to save a little money and time in the short-term, organizations neglect to do audits and inspections that could prevent large losses in the future.

This organization wanted to make sure nothing like the loader debacle ever occurred again, and they had correctly decided that using inspection checklists would be an important step in maturing their inspection policies and procedures.

Inspection checklists aren’t a magic solution that will ensure necessary audits and inspections are done. If they’re not used, they’re obviously not going to help.

However, with checklist-usage requirements in place, checklists are a low-cost tool to support any effort to improve audit and inspection policies. They can be used by personnel to make sure they check everything that needs to be checked while documenting the inspections at the same time.

The Checker inspection checklist books average only about $50 (with volume pricing available to lower the cost even more). And we have more than 100  different books—each one created for a specific type of asset. These are not the generic checklists you may have seen (e.g., a vehicle inspection checklist that could be for a car, truck, or off-road vehicle). Our checklists have all the detail necessary to guide proper inspections.

Each book contains 150 inspection checklists, or enough to last for at least half a year in a single-shift operation. That’s a lot of inspection support for not a lot of money.

Spending $50 for a half-year’s worth of protection against the costs of asset failure (not to mention the costs of regulatory non-compliance) is a lot better than choking on a $50,000 bill!

Takeaway

Small spending on audit/inspection tools such as The Checker inspection checklist books (or The Checker Software via the cloud) is good business because the costs of insufficient inspecting can be dramatically high—many, many multiples of the small amount it costs to improve your inspecting.

Topics: safety audits, legal compliance, vehicle safety, equipment maintenance

If a Workplace Accident Occurs, Do You Have a Defensible Position?

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 @ 08:30 AM

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We often talk about “being compliant” because our audit/inspection software and inspection checklist books are designed to keep you compliant with applicable health and safety regulations.

However, we’re aware that achieving “100 percent” compliance is a considerable, perhaps impossible, challenge. Even if you’re using tools like The Checker and are providing proper training and incentivization for a strong health and safety program, there’s always the possibility of human error, of someone accidentally doing something that’s against regulations. And sometimes personnel just don’t do what they’re supposed to do.

That’s why (while perfect compliance is always the goal), it’s important to value the concept of having a “defensible position” if anything goes wrong. In general (not legally specific) terms, what this means is that you can demonstrate that you’ve made a good faith effort to do everything practical to keep your personnel and the public safe.

Of course, there are very precise requirements from regulatory agencies like OSHA, and if you haven’t met one of these requirements when you’re inspected—or when an accident occurs—you are liable to substantial fines. But the amount of these fines (and sometimes whether you get a warning or a fine) is clearly influenced by your defensible position—how well you’re able to prove that your company has done its best to keep the workplace safe and healthy and that the infraction wasn’t due to organizational negligence.

This defensible position is also critical if your company ends up in court, fighting charges or lawsuits claiming negligence.

The good news is that compliance solutions have benefits beyond creating a defensible position. First and most importantly, striving for compliance helps keep people safe. For example, auditing or inspecting assets with The Checker satisfies regulatory requirements and provides ready documentation of compliance, but also keeps unsafe equipment from being used and hurting people.

And more often that not, compliance solutions lead to process and quality improvements that benefit the bottom line. Think about the value of discovering a defect that needs immediate correction to avoid a productivtity-sapping breakage during the next shift. Or consider how inspection results can be used to identify the durability of a particular brand of asset. In ways like this, and many others, compliance correlates with efficiency.

So, never stop pursuing compliance but realize that even if you never achieve 100 percent compliance, your pursuit will result in a defensible position that can save major dollars. And understand that the pursuit will keep your personnel and the public safer, while likely increasing profitability.

Takeaway

You can never ensure perfect compliance, but with compliance tools like The Checker you can ensure that you’re doing all you can to be compliant, have a defensible position in case you’re accused of negligence, and are reaping the many associated benefits of compliance efforts.

Topics: inspection software, audit software, safety audits, legal compliance

How Employer Cash Flow Impacts Workplace Safety - Insurance Journal

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 @ 11:24 AM

Interesting study on how the Financial condition of a Company affects Workplace Safety 

More than 3.5 million workplace injuries and illnesses occur each year in the United States, costing an estimated $250 billion annually.

A new study from The University of Texas at Dallas examined how financing constraints impact workplace safety and the implications for firm value and employee welfare. Dr. Malcolm Wardlaw, assistant professor of finance and managerial economics in the Naveen Jindal School of Management, recently published his findings in the Journal of Finance.

“A huge part of the labor force has significant exposure to injury risk,” Wardlaw said. “For these workers, getting injured can radically impact their overall welfare. Moreover, the costs of these injuries are borne by both the employees and the companies they work for.”

He noted that while many people may not think about the issue on a day-to-day basis, blue-collar jobs are everywhere, including in warehouse management, shipping and transportation, resource management, construction and small-scale manufacturing.

Using injury data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, the researchers examined the sensitivity of workplace injury rates to a firm’s available financial resources.

The study found that:

 

  • Injury rates increase after debt increases and increase with negative cash flow shocks.
  • Injury rates decrease with positive cash flow shocks.
  • Firm value decreases substantially with an increase in injury rates.

 

“When you’re having issues in cash flow, you often end up servicing the debt at the expense of softer claims that are more difficult to value or have values that are realized over the long term,” Wardlaw said. “There are costs associated with workplace injuries — it’s harder to find and retain employees, you’re more subject to lawsuits and injuries have a long-term effect on productivity — but on a quarter-to-quarter basis, those debts have to be paid.”

Wardlaw said this paper is one of the first to recognize that the financial condition of a firm affects employees’ well-being, which could have implications for policymakers.

“When you’re thinking about OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] inspections and thinking about issues you should keep your eye on, this is certainly one of the dimensions to consider: What is the financial condition of this firm?” Wardlaw said.

“It’s also worth thinking about how financing impacts these kinds of hidden investments. In recent years, there has been a broad recognition that investments in safety are important for the employees and the shareholders. Finding the best way to finance that investment is not always easy.”

Firms invest resources in a number of different activities that reduce the risk of on-the-job injury, including maintaining equipment, replacing old parts and machines, buying equipment with better safety features and automating dangerous tasks, Wardlaw said. Firms also expend resources on less tangible activities that affect safety, such as training and supervision.

Dr. Jonathan B. Cohn, associate professor of finance at The University of Texas at Austin, is co-author of the paper. The researchers are working on a related study regarding private equity buyouts and injury rates.

Source: University of Texas at Dallas

 

Topics: safety management, risk assessments, legal compliance

How to Efficiently Store Audit/Inspection Compliance Information

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

Safety audits and inspection are about much more than compliance. They keep people safe, help lower maintenance costs, and improve operational efficiency.

But the importance of compliance with safety regulations can’t be overstated. Compliance will always be high on the list of reasons why regularly performing and documenting audits and inspections is smart business.

But how do you get the documentation part right?

Storing inspection compliance data can be costly and time-consuming.Of course it’s essential to perform audits and inspections properly, but documentation is how you prove compliance. Without it, even the safest companies can be subject to regulatory fines and exposed to liability. However, manually documenting auditing/inspecting results can take time if it’s done well.

Efficient compliance documentation is about more than recording audit/inspection results in the field. It’s also about storing those results in the most cost-effective way possible.

Supervisors need to be able to see that the audits/inspections are being done, and done correctly. And if companies are ever visited by safety regulators, it’s very beneficial to be able to provide inspectors with proof of compliance on short notice.Audit/inspection software can reduce the time and hassle of retrieving inspection compliance information.

This means that the information that proves compliance should be stored in a way that makes it easy to retrieve. But this storage process can be costly and time-consuming, involving lots of copying, filing, and spreadsheet data entry.

Fortunately, there is a way to reduce this cost and time investment—audit/inspection software.

Audit/inspection software, such as The Checker Software, allows companies that understand the importance of easily accessed compliance information to store their information as soon as its recorded in the field. The labor involved in copying, filing, and/or data entry is eliminated, along with any labor involved in disseminating this information to direct supervisors and others who need to know it, such as H&S or compliance managers.

This data archiving capability has much value beyond allowing organizations to internally assure compliance and quickly prove compliance to external inspectors. The results of safety audits and inspections can be used to improve safety, guide proactive maintenance, help with equipment scheduling, set budgets, and much more.

But the ability to easily and quickly store and retrieve compliance documentation shouldn’t be overlooked because it’s such a “simple” process. It may seem simple, but it does take a lot of time and effort without the aid of software tools.

Takeaway

Being able to track and prove compliance is a basic, but vital, purpose of audits and inspections. Audit/inspection software makes this task much easier and provides labor cost savings that more than justify the cost of using the software.

Upper image courtesy of nyphotographic.com, Creative Commons; Lower image courtesy of doual'art, Creative Commons.

Topics: safety management, legal compliance, inspection best practices

3 Keys to Preparing for Regulatory Safety Compliance Inspections

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Fri, Jun 03, 2016 @ 03:40 PM

Have you ever tried out a restaurant, and before you even order, you form a bad impression?

Maybe the hostess isn’t friendly, or the place looks dirty, or it takes forever to be waited on. Whatever it is, you’re suddenly not feeling very good about your decision to dine there. Perhaps you caught them on a bad day, but they don’t seem like they’re ready to please customers.

You’re now in a critical mood, and the food’s going to have to be really good to overcome that initial dissatisfaction.

Considering regultory inspectors as members of the same team helps compliance inspections go smoothly.The same dynamic occurs when regulatory inspectors (e.g., OSHA) visit workplaces or job sites to perform safety compliance inspections. They’re professionals, but they’re human, and If their initial impression is a bad one, it can negatively impact how they inspect your premises. Like a customer entering a restaurant for the first time, you want to impress regulators and make them feel welcome.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Making a good first impression isn’t about kissing up and sweeping problems under the rug. Making a good first impression with regulators and having a solid safety compliance program should go hand-in-hand—just as excellent customer service and outstanding food do in five-star restaurants. The impression you give regulators shouldn’t be a mirage; it should genuinely reflect a commitment to safety.

Nonetheless, there are some specific things you can do to get regulatory inspectors on your side from the beginning of an inspection.

1.  Do your own safety audits and inspections.

Voluntary safety audits and inspections—from regular equipment inspections to job-site risk assessments to safety audits of entire facilities—demonstrate to regulators that your organization “gets it” when it comes to safety. If it’s obvious you’re checking yourself, regulators will be pleased.

This is only one of the many business benefits of voluntary audits, inspections and other safety initiatives, but it’s a nice one to have when regulators show up at your door!

2.  Have all your safety documentation readily available.

Regulatory inspectors will want to see documentation of items such as:

  • Safety and health policies, including your safety manual
  • Safety training
  • Equipment inspection records
  • A history of injuries and illnesses
  • Results of any self-audits that have been conducted
  • Any proactive steps taken to abate hazards
  • Steps taken to correct previous violations.

You’ll need to have this documentation archived, organized, and ready for quick dissemination to regulators. You’re not going to look like you’re on top of safety if you have to scramble to find these items or can’t locate some of them.

Having all these records readily available in the proper form is possible using manual paper documentation and spreadsheets, but organizations are increasingly choosing to use more cost-effective software solutions, such as The Checker Software. Audit/inspection software can not only increase the efficiency of your self-inspecting, it can significantly lower the labor cost of managing safety data, as well as make it much easier and faster to provide regulators with the information they want.

3.  Be friendly with regulatory safety inspectors—you’re on the same side!

Politeness and a friendly attitude go a long way toward making a regulatory inspection a positive experience. It’s not smart to make inspectors feel like they’re intruding on your territory and needlessly inconveniencing you. And why would you want to do that anyway? After all, you both have the same goal—to promote safety in the workplace.

When you treat regulators as teammates in the fight against occupational injuries, they’re much more likely to treat you in that way as well. Even the most diligent organizations can sometimes have lapses, and regulators often are faced with judgment calls about whether to simply make a comment, provide a written warning, or cite you. In such situations, you want them thinking about you as a teammate, not as an antagonist.

Takeaway

The best preparation for a regulatory safety compliance inspection is to have an ongoing, proactive safety program that includes voluntary self-inspections and safety audits. That way, you can be confident you’re in compliance. But even the safest of companies can benefit from impressing inspectors by having all their safety documentation readily available for review when inspectors show up. Treating inspectors cordially and with respect also doesn’t hurt!

Topics: safety management, OSHA, legal compliance