Workplace inspections are an opportunity to proactively identify hazards and assess risk in your workplace. A workplace inspection program may include daily inspections of equipment, initial startup inspections, walk-arounds of mobile equipment before use, daily and/or weekly supervisor inspections and weekly and/or monthly department, Local Safety Committee and JOHSC inspections. In addition to regularly scheduled inspections, you also need to inspect your workplace after an incident or injury. There are many different types of inspections which are performed by different groups.

General inspections are inspections of entire work areas and work practices. They are conducted by the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC) as well as Local Safety Committees. General Inspections occur monthly with inspection locations on a set schedule. A standardized inspection checklist is used for all JOHSC and Local inspections. The personnel conducting the inspection completes an inspection report which is shared with the building occupants as well as the JOHSC committee. Items identified in the inspection report have a timeline for rectification.  

Equipment inspections include the inspection of tools, vehicles, machinery, or equipment. They can include:

  • A pre-use inspection (inspecting a vehicle or piece of equipment prior to using it)
  • A scheduled preventative maintenance inspection as identified in the manual

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

A pre-use and/or preventative maintenance inspection checklist specific to the tool, vehicle, machine, or equipment should be used. Items of deficiency are identified and documents and the item should not be used until the deficiency has been rectified.

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

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

The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation requires inspections for all Incident/Accidents that involve:

  • Serious injury or death
  • Injury requiring medical treatment (beyond basic first aid), or resulted in missing time from work
  • Near miss
  • Structural collapse or failure
  • Release of hazardous substances
  • Diving incident
  • Incident involving explosive materials
  • Blasting incident causing injury

Depending on the severity of the incident, the worker, supervisor, worker representative from the JOHSC and Health and Safety Services may assist in the inspection. Items of deficiency are documented in a corrective action report following the inspection and submitted to WorkSafeBC. Inspection reports must be submitted within 30 days of the Incident/Accident.
Incident Inspections:

WorkSafeBC inspections are an important part of ensuring health and safety in B.C. workplaces. During a WorkSafeBC inspection, a prevention officer may call or visit unannounced to inspect your workplace and assess safe work practices in accordance with the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation.

After an inspection, the officer will send the employer an inspection report with details about the inspection as well as additional information and resources that may be of value to the workplace.

The officer will cite orders if they identify health and safety violations that require correction, as well as the measures the employer must take to comply. The officer will follow up to ensure the necessary steps are taken to correct the violation.

All WorkSafeBC Inspection reports will be posted to the Health and Safety Services site under the University Health and Safety Committees tabs for a minimum of 1 month.