Writing a Safety inspection report.
Your report should be according to SMART principles:
Above all, it should be sensible and persuade management to act upon its recommendations.
It is a report and should therefore be in report format, not a letter or memo or even an email! Avoid humourous vignettes such as: from: S. Afety MIOSH RSP or
I. M. Self, MD and bar
It is not a list of hazards such as you would have created during your inspection and you should avoid repetition (there will often be numerous examples of the same hazards).
Measurable does not mean giving a risk ranking score, but should give some idea of the risk quantum. High, medium, low - is quite acceptable.
Achievable acknowledges cost-benefit analysis. Some risk reduction measures may be desirable but they could be simply too costly and resource could be better deployed – this is what risk assessment is all about.
Realistic reiterates this. It is not realistic to expect everything to be put right at once, so prioritization is important. If management can see the elements of an action plan to improve safety then they are more likely to act upon the recommendations.
Time bound. It is helpful to suggest timings because it supports the idea of an action plan. Not everything can be done at once, after all.
The report should not be unduly long just a basic introduction in which the general state of the plant is described. Acknowledge both good and bad features (there is nothing more off-putting than unmitigated gloom!).
The body of the report should be a series of headings followed by descriptions of the main items. Don’t try to be too detailed or the reader will be in danger of “can’t see the wood for the trees” syndrome and your message will be lost. And it should not be too long – 6 to 10 paragraphs would be typical in a report of this kind. At this stage indicate priorities and acknowledge costs and benefits.
Conclusions and recommendations should point the way to a structured action plan for improvement and at the same time convince the manager of the need for improvements.
Now write your report, based on your findings. When you have done it, compare it to the model report following. Your writing style might differ from the one given, but the content should be comparable.
The Workshop Manager
Report of a safety inspection of the printing and engineering workshops Dated – (today’s date)
The inspection was restricted to the various workshops and their immediate environs. Issues such as site security, offices and workshops and general welfare facilities were not considered. The condition of the various workshops varied remarkably – the engineering workshop was excellent but the print workshop poor and the vehicle repair workshop totally unacceptable. The lack of any kind of safe system for window cleaning, epitomized by a contractor climbing out on to a ledge and then closing the window behind him in order to clean it is almost beyond belief and you should consider what control systems you have, or will need to instate, with respect to management of contractors. You should realize that you are responsible in law for the activities of contractors on your premises and stand the risk of prosecution by the HSE if such malpractices were seen, let alone in the wake of an accident.
1. Fire hazards and the control of chemicals in the print workshop. The condition of some work areas was unacceptable and posed serious fire hazards. Improper storage of flammables (the steel storage cupboard should be locked shut and the key only accessible to nominated competent persons) and other chemicals in various insecure containers under sinks and in corridors must be stopped at once.
2. Health hazards may also arise from the chemicals. Other than COSHH...
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