Safety Checklist

By Tabitha Mishra
Last updated: March 17, 2024

What Does Safety Checklist Mean?

Safety checklists are digital or paper forms used during safety inspections. They help identify and uncover hazards, verify compliance with safety standards and regulations, and ensure that all inspections follow a uniform procedure.

These checklists ensure that the every safety inspection is thorough and that no important details are overlooked. Completed checklists can then be used as evidence of compliance with safety regulations in the event of a lawsuit or investigation.

Safeopedia Explains Safety Checklist

Checklists vary significantly from one another. Every industry and workplace has its own unique set of hazards and the checklists used in them must reflect this.

There are also a number of different safety assessment procedures, each with its own type of checklist. The list used when doing hazard assessments, for instance, will differ from the one used when inspecting the personal protective equipment (PPE) used by workers.

A few examples of types of safety checklists:

  • Machinery Safety Inspection Checklist: Evaluates the overall safety of the machinery and equipment by identifying electrical, mechanical, and maintenance hazards
  • Chemical Safety Inspection Checklist: Ensures that safety data sheets (SDS) are available for all hazardous chemicals, that appropriate PPE is used for handling them, and that chemical products are stored properly
  • Emergency Procedures Safety Checklist: Ensures that evacuation procedures are safe and rapid, markings on emergency exits are present and clearly visible, and that the paths to those exits are free of obstructions

Designing an Effective Safety Checklist

Below are some elements that must be on a safety checklist so that it is beneficial for the organization or useful in case of a lawsuit or OSHA inspection:

  • Name of the person who performed the inspection – It is best if the checklist is filled by a competent person with relevant safety credentials or training
  • Date and time of inspection – This information can be used to demonstrate that safety inspections are conducted regularly
  • Site conditions at time of inspection – This should include any relevant factors, such as the cleanliness of the site, clutter on workstations, or weather conditions
  • Place of inspection – Not only the jobsite or facility, but also the specific area the inspection focused on (if the inspection ran out of time to cover the area thoroughly, the parts of it that were not inspected should be noted)
  • Reason for inspection – Note whether it is a routine inspection, an inspection undertaken after someone has raised a concern about hazardous conditions, or an incident initiated due to an accident or a near miss
  • Record of data – All information gathered and recorded must be organized, categorized, and any supporting documents (such as photos) must be attached

Ready to learn more? Check out our free webinar on Safety Pre-Inspections: Why They’re Important!

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