Workplace Inspections

Workplace Inspections are a proactive means of preventing the development of unsafe conditions in the workplace. There are many different types of inspections which are performed by different groups.

Workplace Inspections

Inspection Overview

Inspection Typle Frequency Documentation Required Actions
General Inspection
(JOHSC)
(LST)
At minimum the areas that each JOHSC oversees must be inspected at least once a year General Inspection Checklist is used and an inspection report is completed detailing the items of deficiency Items identified in the inspection report are carried out as per the timelines outlined
Equipment Inspections Before every use for Pre use inspections and as per the manufacturer’s manual for preventative maintenance Checklist specific to the tool, vehicle, machine or equipment is used and an inspection report is completed Items identified in the inspection report are carried out as per the timelines outlined
Local Area Inspections Multiple times a year Checklist specific to the area is used and an inspection report is completed Items identified in the inspection report are carried out as per the timelines outlined. Maintain documentation for 3 years
Informal Inspections Daily No documentation Identified issues are corrected when observed or brought to the attention of those who have the ability to correct the issue
Special Inspections After a malfunction/incident An inspection checklist specific for the item/area involved in the malfunction/incident is used and an inspection report is completed Items identified in the inspection report are carried out as per the timelines outlined
Regulatory Inspections by WorkSafeBC, PHAC, CFIA or the CNSC Occasionally Legally binding report or letter to be provided by the inspecting agency and received by the university, identifying compliance gaps Gaps must be addressed according to the terms stipulated in the report or letter
Risk Management Services’ Inspections Every 1-5 years depending on the risk rating of the work done A checklist tailored to the area is used and a report with corrective action log to be provided by RMS Confirm receipt of report and complete and return corrective action log within allotted time frame

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General Inspections

General inspections are inspections of entire work areas and work practices. They are conducted by Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee members (JOHSC) and/or Local Safety Team members (LST). Supervisors may participate in general inspections but it is not required.

The frequency of general inspections can vary depending on the situation, risk and what is being inspected. At minimum, the areas that each JOHSC oversees must be inspected at least once a year. The General Inspection Checklist is used. The personnel completing the inspection are required to complete an inspection report and highlight any items that need to be discussed further at the next JOHSC meeting.

JOHSC members provide a new perspective on the workplace as they normally don’t work in the areas where they inspect.

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Equipment Inspections

Equipment inspections include inspections of tools, vehicles, machinery or equipment. They can be a:

  • Pre-use inspection (e.g. inspecting a vehicle or equipment prior to using it)
  • Scheduled preventative maintenance inspection as per the manufacturer’s manual

Equipment inspections are independent of General Inspections and Local Area Inspections. They are conducted by workers using the tool, vehicle, machinery or equipment. The frequency depends on the manufacturer’s recommendation or industry standards for preventative maintenance. Pre-use inspections are conducted before every use.

A pre-use and/or preventative maintenance inspection checklist specific to the tool, vehicle, machine, or equipment is used. Items of deficiency are identified and documented in the corrective action report following the inspection checklist.

This type of inspection aids in the development and revision of Safe Work Procedures (SWPs)

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Local Area Inspections

Local Area Inspections are conducted in areas where the frequency of the General Inspection conducted by the JOSHC/LST does not sufficiently prevent the development of unsafe working conditions. They are conducted by anyone that the supervisor delegates the task to.

The exact frequency of local area inspections can vary depending on the situation, risk and what is being inspected. The inspections are carried out more than once a year. It is strongly recommended that a checklist specific to the area is used. The personnel completing the inspection are required to complete a corrective action plan and submit it to their immediate supervisor. The supervisor must ensure that corrective action is taken so that the hazard is eliminated or controlled.

Technical items are included on the local area inspection checklist because those who understand the work carry out the inspections.

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Informal Inspections

Informal inspections are daily inspections of personal work areas. They are conducted by members of the workplace daily. All employees are expected to maintain continual awareness of hazards in their work area. There is no formal checklist used and findings are usually not documented. Any hazards identified are usually addressed immediately before they interrupt work flow. If the item cannot be addressed immediately, the hazard should be reported to the area supervisor.

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Special Inspections

The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation requires special inspections after a malfunction/incident to ensure that work does not resume until it is safe to do so. This type of inspection is conducted in response to a reported condition/incident.

Depending on the severity of the incident, the worker, supervisor, worker representative from the JOHSC and RMS may assist in the inspection. An inspection checklist specific for the item/area involved in the malfunction/incident is used. Items of deficiency are documented in a corrective action report following the inspection checklist.

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Regulatory Inspections

Regulatory inspections are conducted in specific areas of the university by the various regulatory agencies that UBC is required to be in compliance with. These regulatory agencies include WorkSafeBC, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Various regulatory requirements are used as criteria for the inspection. Compliance gaps are documented in a legally binding report or letter provided by the inspecting agency. Gaps must be addressed according to the terms stipulated in the report or letter.

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Risk Management Services’ Inspections

Risk Management Services’ inspections are inspections of entire buildings with research spaces. They are conducted by Risk Management Services staff.

The frequency varies from 1-5 years depending on the risk rating of the work done. A checklist tailored to the area is used. Items of deficiency are identified and documented in a corrective action log which is provided to the individual responsible for that area.

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