Is the effectiveness of your inspections as good as it could be? Do they find all potential problems, including those that aren’t immediately apparent? Are corrective actions carried out all the way to the end? And, over time, have your efforts resulted in an increase in safety and environmental performance?
All of these are crucial, and if you rely on your inspections to identify and correct hazardous issues, you must be aware of current best practices. Here are six pointers to help you improve the efficiency of your inspections:
1. Make your inspection procedure more consistent
When it comes to inspections, one of the most common mistakes firms make is not having a consistent process.
Consider what would happen if an airline allowed a pilot to fly an airplane without using a checklist, depending solely on their own experience to ensure that nothing was overlooked. Similarly, when each inspector performs his or her duties differently, vital details may be omitted.
Establishing and executing a systematic inspection method will result in higher-quality data and better results. Inspectors will also become more efficient with time, saving your firm time and money.
2. Eliminate the need for manual data entry
Errors are unavoidable when data is entered manually. This might occur as a result of unclear handwriting on forms, misinterpretation of comments, or even a simple typographical error. When inspection data is erroneous owing to human error, regardless of the cause, businesses face the risk of making unwise decisions.
The simplest method to avoid this issue in the first place is to eliminate the need to rekey most, if not all, data from paper forms. Data can be entered immediately into the system at the time of inspection when using web-based inspection forms. Inspectors will appreciate the ability to fill out only the questions that are pertinent to them, which is not available with paper forms. Not only that, but consider how much time your team will save at work! They’ll be able to focus on the tasks that matter because they’ll have fewer forms to fill out.
3. Use mobile assessment apps to your benefit
Paper forms that are crumpled, coffee-stained, forgotten, or not turned in are no longer an issue with web-based inspections, but the advantages don’t end there.
Many companies have already learned that conducting inspections with mobile apps results in more thoroughness and richer data.
It’s easy to forget or overlook a question on paper forms. Inspectors, on the other hand, can use mobile apps to walk them through the process and guarantee that all forms are filled out completely. They can simply pick up where they left off without losing anything, even if the form is long or they are interrupted.
Inspectors can also snap photos, film videos, and record audio, all of which can be synced instantly between their phone and the central office. There’s no need to upload them and then email them afterwards. These files, together with the inspection findings, will be sent immediately to the centralized for easier analysis and reporting. As a result, inspections are more efficient and effective.
4. Determine the best inspection frequency
How frequently should inspections be carried out? Of course, the answer is that it depends.
Different factors will influence the frequency of inspections in each organization. Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you’ll have to use your judgment to create a timetable that maximizes your resources while ensuring no concerns are neglected.
Take a look at the average number of findings from previous evaluations. Adding follow-up inspections or examining more frequently is generally a good option if inspections consistently uncover difficulties. On the other hand, if problems are infrequently identified, you might be able to safely reduce the frequency of inspections.
The nature of work and dangers, the size of operations, new hazards or activities, and changes in regulations, processes, or equipment, to name a few, can all influence the frequency of inspections.
5. Assign facility-level inspections
An EHS team member or a high-level supervisor will not be required to perform every inspection. In fact, having inspections conducted by someone from a different department isn’t always advantageous.
Some inspections, such as quality checks and maintenance inspections, are most effective when carried out by someone who has firsthand knowledge of the equipment, process, or work practices in question. Expanding employee participation in the inspection process, which is simple to achieve with mobile apps, gives vital insight that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Assigning inspections at the facility level can also save a lot of time in terms of administration and travel. This typically leads to thousands of dollars in travel-related savings. In addition, if travel is limited for any reason, inspections might continue unabated.
6. Make corrective actions more automated
Inspections aren’t always as effective as they may be because of a lack of follow-through. Failure to correct issues discovered during an inspection can lead to an accident or legal action.
As a result, it’s critical to ensure that remedial actions are carried out on a consistent basis. One method to achieve this is to automate the corrective action process, which is simple to perform with inspection software.
Assume an inspector finds some of your safety data sheets (SDSs) to be out of date. During the inspection, a corrective action to update these SDSs can be assigned. Alternatively, this could be done automatically based on system-configurable rules. The proper person will be alerted in any situation when action is required. If the remedial action is not done by the deadline, it will be escalated to a supervisor for accountability.
By following these six best practices, you’ll be in a better position to make your inspections efficient and effective. However, you can also implement smart and affordable EHS software like CloudApper Safety to get rid of unwanted problems in your workplace. All the six practices listed above can easily be achieved through CloudApper Safety’s EHS Software.
CloudApper Safety’s management and product teams have extensive experience in manufacturing, telecommunications, healthcare, and enterprise software. We focus on customers in highly regulated industries such as utilities, refineries, pipelines, and manufacturing.
Author Bio: SK. Moinur Rahman is a digital marketing analyst at CloudApper which is an amazing No-Code Enterprise Mobile Apps Platform. He’s on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and to make boring business blogs sparkle.