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Inspections are a reality for businesses. The best way to approach them is with preparedness and positivity. Unfortunately, organizations can (and most likely will) have a compliance issue at some point or another. Areas that fail inspection are unsafe for everyone within your building, not just for employees, so it’s important to resolve issues quickly and take a proactive approach to your compliance going forward.
Reduce risk and improve inspection results with the following strategies, designed to help your facility team pass their next commercial building inspection.
4 Strategies For Passing A Commercial Building Inspection
1. Improve efficiency of inspection routines with the PDCA Cycle.
The “Deming Cycle” (also known as the PDCA Cycle) is a quality improvement model that promotes continuous improvement in the workplace. This four-step model can be applied to a variety of situations, including facility inspection routines. Let’s take a closer look at how leadership teams can utilize the cycle to improve the ease of inspections.
- Plan – Define the goals and expectations of the activity. The goal of conducting inspections is to promote safety and prevent injuries. Facilities teams are expected to record and document observations and improvements made for greater transparency.
- Do – Develop a comprehensive inspection strategy. Protocols should define who does the inspection, when it will occur, what is to be observed and where inspection data should be recorded (preferably in an inspections software application).
- Check – Review findings once inspections have been completed and data has been collected. Data reviews are critical, as they reveal gaps and can help teams identify what actions can be taken to drive improvement.
- Act – Brainstorm ways that the inspections process can be simplified and made more reliable. This could involve providing additional feedback, sharing observed trends, enacting process improvements or thinking of new ways to utilize data collected within your building inspections software.
The Deming Cycle is a model that aims to solve problems and implement solutions in a rigorous, methodical way. Use this framework to help your maintenance team explore a range of solutions to problems and pilot them in a controlled way before selecting one for implementation. Continuous improvements will benefit your safety program and help your organization reach its company-wide initiatives.
2. Utilize this safety inspection checklist to reduce risks and hazards.
Performed by a safety officer, a safety inspection (or audit) assesses risks and hazards in the workplace. It also evaluates the reliability of health and safety systems. Your executive leadership team can utilize the results of this process to prevent work-related incidents, injuries and fatalities, and ensure that your organization complies with safety requirements.
During the Audit: A safety officer will inspect the worksite and examine dangerous activities, processes or areas. The officer will look for hazards which may result in an accident, ill health or death. Here are three categories he or she will look for.
- Unsafe conditions (i.e. tripping hazards, wet surfaces, lack of ventilation, etc.)
- Unsafe equipment (i.e. damaged ladders, defective wiring, frayed cords, etc.)
- Unsafe acts (i.e. improper use of protective equipment, failing to follow safety rules, etc.)
After the Audit: Findings will be recorded and discussed with the organization. For a more extensive list of facility risks and hazards that a safety officer will look for, download the Facilities Hazard Identification Checklist.
All facilities face potential risks which, left unchecked, can put workers, occupants and the entire organization in jeopardy. Utilize the expertise of a safety officer to point out areas of improvement within your workplace, or conduct your own risk assessment.
- Download a Free Workplace Safety Inspection Checklist: Your maintenance team and safety committees can utilize this workplace safety checklist as a go-to guide for learning how to perform a complete audit of a job site. You’ll learn risks and hazards to look for, which can help prevent accidents and ensure compliance.
3. Create a reliable building inspection checklist.
Having a proper building inspection process in place is integral to a safe, functional and code-compliant work environment. Inspections not only reveal regular wear-and-tear on equipment, but also alert your team to dangerous equipment malfunctions that could result in injury or even death.
While equipment and machinery should be maintained for proper functionality throughout the year, it’s still important to put an actual inspections process in place to ensure compliance with organizational safety protocols and OSHA standards.
Here’s a list of best practices to follow when putting an inspection process in place at your organization.
- Utilize a building inspection checklist to know what to look for when conducting an inspection.
- Elect an employee to complete an inspection by a specific date and time.
- Elect a different employee to check that the action has been taken care of by the agreed time.
- Record all inspection results in a facility inspections software to produce an audit trail.
- If an inspection fails, elect an employee to remedy the issue and provide a hard deadline of when the task should be completed.
- Provide consistent training sessions during the year for all members of your inspections team.
4. Aggregate critical information for inspectors in a specialized software.
Specialized inspection softwares can offer a cutting edge, yet easy-to-use interface that makes completing inspections manageable for any industry. Use the inspections module to:
- Eliminate the hassle of paper-based organization methods
- Automatically track inspection histories by asset type
- Track history of preventive maintenance measures
- Run and present analytics on inspection data
- Prove compliance to inspectors by providing e-copies of documentation
Your maintenance team will be empowered to instantly create inspection-related work orders and close them out once procedures have been concluded. If your organization has been on the fence about purchasing an inspection software to help track your compliance, make this year the year that you commit.