Take a Good Look and Make Your Workplace Safer

“The only way to know whether workplace hazards exist and whether or not they are safely under control is to look for them on a regular basis. That’s what self-inspections are all about.”


OSHA recommends that your self-inspections should cover safety and health issues in the following areas:


  • Processing, receiving, shipping, and storage, including equipment, job planning, layout, heights, floor loads, projection of materials, material handling and storage methods, and training for material handling equipment.
  • Building and grounds conditions, including floors, walls, ceilings, exits, stairs, walkways, ramps, platforms, driveways, and aisles.
  • Housekeeping program, including waste disposal, tools, objects, materials, leakage and spillage, cleaning methods, schedules, work areas, remote areas, and storage areas.
  • Electricity, including equipment, switches, breakers, fuses, switch-boxes, junctions, special fixtures, circuits, insulation, extensions, tools, motors, grounding, and national electric code compliance.
  • Lighting, including type, intensity, controls, conditions, diffusion, location, and glare and shadow control.
  • Heating and ventilation, including type, effectiveness, temperature, humidity, controls, and natural and artificial ventilation and exhausting.
  • Machinery, including points of operation, flywheels, gears, shafts, pulleys, key ways, belts, couplings, sprockets, chains, frames, controls, lighting for tools and equipment, brakes, exhausting, feeding, oiling, adjusting, maintenance, lockout/tagout, grounding, work space, location, and purchasing standards.
  • Personnel, including hazard identification training, experience, methods of checking machines before use, type of work clothing, PPE, use of guards, tool storage, work practices, and methods for cleaning, oiling, or adjusting machinery.
  • Hand and power tools, including purchasing standards, inspection, storage, repair, types, maintenance, grounding, and use and handling.
  • Hazardous materials, including storage, handling, transportation, spills, disposals, amounts used, labeling, toxicity or other harmful effects, warning signs, supervision, training, protective clothing and equipment, and hazard communication requirements.
  • Fire prevention, including extinguishers, alarms, sprinklers, smoking rules, exits, personnel assigned, separation of flammable materials and dangerous operations, explosion-proof fixtures in hazardous locations, waste disposal, and training of personnel.
  • Maintenance, including regular and preventive maintenance on all equipment used at the worksite, recording all work performed on the machinery, and training of personnel on the proper care and servicing of the equipment.
  • PPE, including type, size, maintenance, repair and replacement, age, storage, assignment of responsibility, purchasing methods, standards observed, training in care and use, rules of use, and method of assignment.
  • Transportation, including motor vehicle safety, seat belts, vehicle maintenance, and safe driver programs.
  • First aid program and supplies, including medical care facility locations, posted emergency phone numbers, first aid training for responders, and accessible first aid kits.

  • Evacuation plan, including procedures for an emergency evacuation; procedures for specific emergencies such as fire, chemical/biological incidents, bomb threat, etc.; escape procedures and routes; critical plant operations; employee accounting following an evacuation; rescue and medical duties; and procedures for reporting emergencies.


by Chris Kilbourne

Safety Daily Advisor