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How to develop an effective workplace inspection program

There are numerous required inspections under various Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Implementing these requirements can be daunting for any employer. There are many options on how to proceed, but the key to an effective inspection program is preparation, which includes addressing each of the following.


First, you need to determine what type — or types — of inspections you intend to do. Those can be classified into three different categories:

  • Planned— This type of inspection is scheduled in advance with the deliberate intention of detecting unsafe conditions or procedures (for example, a department inspection)

  • Continuous or informal— This type of inspection is meant to complement the planned inspection, but is typically done on a more frequent basis, often daily and part of a work process or routine (for example, a daily forklift inspection)

  • Unplanned— This type of inspection is unanticipated and typically not done on a routine basis (for example, after a ladder tips over)

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