Informal and planned health and safety inspections are an important tool to prevent workplace injuries, illness, and property damage. Regular inspections provide a systematic way to look for unsafe conditions, new hazards not previously identified, and determine whether hazard controls are in place and working. Inspections are opportunities to improve and to catch hazards before an incident occurs. Inspections should be viewed as positive.
Spot inspections of work areas and equipment conducted as part of general safety responsibilities and daily work routines. Hazards may be corrected immediately or may require follow up action.
A planned and scheduled inspection of the worksite conducted by persons with training or knowledge of their work areas. Results including corrective actions needed are documented in a report or on a checklist that is filed at the worksite.
In addition to inspections conducted by various government authorities, site administrators are accountable to ensure that both informal and planned health and safety inspections are regularly conducted at their worksite. The Division Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Coordinator supports the site inspection program by providing in-services on workplace inspection, reviewing site inspection reports, and conducting planned inspections based on risk profiles and Division health and safety program objectives.
The responsibility to carry out site inspections is assigned to supervisors, health and safety representatives and/or employees knowledgeable about the job or work task. At least two (2) employees at each worksite must receive basic training in workplace inspection in order to provide support and assistance at their worksite.
In addition to planned inspections, as part of the normal duties for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, individual employees are responsible for doing informal or spot inspections of their immediate work areas on a regular basis. In higher hazard work areas such as science or CTS labs, informal inspections should be conducted on a daily basis to prevent the development of unsafe conditions.
Protocol for Planned Inspections
- Site administrators and directors shall follow a planned inspection schedule. Quarterly inspections are completed and documented by the Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator and provided to the site administrator. Higher risk areas or areas where there is a significant change to the task or work environment may require additional planned inspections as determined by the site administrator and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator.
- The Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator (OHS) and the OHS Site Contact will inspect each school quarterly.
- The Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator (OHS) Coordinator will inspect high-risk areas monthly.
- The Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator (OHS) Coordinator will inspect playgrounds/outdoor facilities annually.
- All supervisors and employees are expected to cooperate and participate in all inspections.
- Planned inspection results shall be documented on site-specific inspection checklists in hard copy format. Inspection templates are available from the division OHS Coordinator.
- Machinery, tools, and equipment (e.g. hoists, elevators, dust collectors, fire extinguishers) shall be inspected in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and/or legislation and Division standards.
- Unsafe acts or conditions identified during inspections shall be recorded and prioritized for action on the inspection checklist. High-risk hazards must be promptly reported to a supervisor for corrective action. If serious or imminent danger is found during the course of an inspection, the site or department administrator shall take immediate action to stop the work and correct the situation.
- Results of inspections and corrective actions required shall be communicated to affected staff. Results shall also be reviewed and followed up by the site or department administrator in conjunction with the Health and Safety Committee (where one exists) and/or with affected employees.
- Copies of completed inspection reports and follow-ups shall be maintained on file by the OHS Coordinator at division office or a minimum of three (3) years. An OHS officer, the Superintendent, OHS auditor or the OHS Specialist may ask to review completed inspection checklists at any time.
- In the event of a health and safety inspection by government officials, the site/department administrator shall inform the OHS Coordinator at 403-653-4991 as soon as possible and provide copies of any inspection reports and/or orders. The administrator and OHS Coordinator in consultation with other stakeholders will determine follow up corrective action necessary. The site/department administrator is responsible to ensure all deficiencies are corrected and orders are complied with.
For additional information including inspection checklists contact the Division OHS Coordinator at 403-653-4991.
Section 18, 20, 45, 45.1, 60, 61, 113 School Act
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Workers’ Compensation Act
Public Health Act-Communicable Diseases Regulation
Occupational Health and Safety Code
Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
Approved: May 28, 2019
Amended: January 7, 2020