A Health and Safety Compliance Checklist is an essential tool that every Health and Safety Representative should have. The health and safety checklist helps to quickly and effectively inspect premises for health and safety compliance, to ensure workplace health and safety.
A Health and Safety Compliance Checklist can be compiled by health and safety professional according to the structure and nature of their activities. However, more importantly, they must be compiled according to protocols stipulated in the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 that premises should meet. These you must find in your Occupational Health and Safety Act South Africa checklist.
Health and Safety Compliance Checklist
The length and complicity of the Occupational Health and Safety Compliance Checklist can differ. Below I have listed some aspects that should be included. These are just some of the basic aspects, but more can certainly be considered. Examples are Working Environment, Electrical Safety, Health and Hospitality, etc.
1. Working Environment
- Is there proper and adequate ventilation?
- Are all lights working and is there sufficient lighting?
- Are security systems (CCTV cameras, radios, alarms) in place and working?
- Is there enough working space for employees?
- Are floors and floor coverings, e.g. carpets, in good condition?
- Are walkways free from foreseeable trip/slip hazards?
- Is fire equipment available, serviced and in working order?
- Are emergency exits available and easily accessible?
- Are all important and legally required signs available in your workplace?
- Are they compliant with the SANS standards and in the correct position? (E.g. emergency exit, first aid kit location, prohibited areas etc.)
2. Electricity Safety
- Is access to electrical system restricted to authorised persons?
- Are plugs and leads in good condition?
- Are socket outlets at least 1m away from running water?
3. Health and Hospitality
- Is there an easily accessible and adequately stocked first aid boxes?
- Are there suitable and sufficient toilet facilities?
- Are suitable washing facilities available?
4. Working Equipment / Resources
- Is all working equipment/machinery in a safe and sound manner?
- Is machinery security features (guards, sensors) in place and working condition?
- Is the Personal Protective Equipment being used of the required standards?
- Is excess PPE available for any visitors who may require to enter into hazardous areas in your premises?
- Are employees adequately trained on health and safety in the workplace, training in aspects like fire drills and emergency preparedness
- Do employees know the location of emergency services (first aid, fire equipment, alarms etc?)
6. Other aspects
- Are wall mounted fixtures, shelving, furniture etc. in good condition and secure?
- Is storage of small quantities of flammable/hazardous substances suitable?
- Are all parts of the building maintained in a clean and tidy condition?
A Health and Safety Compliance Checklist should contain the date, name and signature of person who conducted an inspection. They should also indicate the next review date.
An effective Health and Safety Compliance Checklist would have a 'yes' as the answer to all the above. Issues arising from questions that produce a “no” as an answer should be addressed immediately. However, skill and expertise is required to know which corrective measures can be implemented for each hazard and risk identified.
What is the difference between a health and safety checklist and a health and safety compliance audit?
A health and safety checklist is a tool used to assess the compliance of a workplace with relevant laws and regulations, while a health and safety compliance audit is an independent assessment of a workplace's compliance with laws and regulations related to health and safety.
A health and safety checklist is usually a self-assessment tool which is used by the employer or a designated employee to go through and check if the workplace is meeting the requirements on health and safety regulations. A checklist may include items such as checking that emergency exits are clear, fire extinguishers are properly maintained, and hazardous materials are labeled correctly. These checklists typically focus on identifying specific hazards and potential hazards that are present in the workplace.
On the other hand, A health and safety compliance audit is typically carried out by an independent, qualified auditor or inspector who will evaluate the entire health and safety program of the workplace. They will look at the overall management systems, policies, procedures and records related to health and safety. An audit may include a review of the workplace's health and safety policies, procedures and checklists, interviews with employees, and inspections of the physical workplace. An audit will provide a comprehensive report and recommendations on areas of compliance, non-compliance and opportunities for improvement.
In summary, a health and safety checklist is a tool used by employers to self-assess their compliance with relevant laws and regulations, while a health and safety compliance audit is an independent assessment carried out by an expert to assess the overall compliance of the workplace with laws and regulations.
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