‘The wellbeing of customers, clients, and employees should always be your primary concern’
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) does not legally stipulate that internal safety inspections be conducted regularly, but it does highly recommend it. By doing so, business owners can identify any hazards and then take timeouts and appropriate corrective actions. Simply put, they are vital to the smooth operation of all companies, regardless of their size.
Take a closer look at why facility safety inspections are important to any business – including yours.
- First and Foremost, you will Be Keeping People Safe
The wellbeing of customers, clients, and employees should always be your primary concern. If you run regular internal inspections and follow up on the recommendations auditors make, you can be confident all reasonable measures ensuring the health and safety of your workforce and clientele have been taken.
As well as keeping people healthy and safe, regular audits can boost your public image. People will see that you care about your client base and your staff, which can often make customers more inclined to support you and employees incentivized to work harder – which will both be beneficial to productivity and profits.
- You will Be Closer to ISO 14001 Certification
The International Standards Organization (ISO) group of ISO 14000 standards are all related to proper environmental management. They help companies comply with environmental laws, minimize the impact of their operations on the immediate and more remote environment, and constantly improve their management standards to improve conservation.
The ISO 14001 specifically defines the criteria required for environmental management systems. Using the ISO 14001 allows executives to map out organizational frameworks and work out a plan of action for setting up an effective system. Once you successfully achieve ISO 14001 compliance, you can feel confident in your company’s level of environmental friendliness.
- You will Be Able to Profit from Green Marketing
Armed with your ISO 14001 accreditation you will be able to show shareholders and customers what you are doing to conserve earth’s precious resources. By demonstrating complete transparency, disclosing the problem areas in your environmental management systems, and explaining how you plan to fix them, you will also show yourself to be trustworthy.
This so-called green marketing – developing products and procedures based on their environmental sustainability, and then advertising your efforts – along with your full disclosure policy, will impress progressive clients and stakeholders. They will be far more inclined to support a company that shares their values when it comes to good business practices.
- You will Optimize Operational Efficiency
Changing operations to make them safer often carries the additional benefit of making them faster and more efficient too. A good example of this is an electrical wiring check. If wires need to be replaced more regularly, they will not only be less likely to shock someone but will also power your machinery better. As your power costs go down, your productivity will go up.
As well as being doubly beneficial for your business, you will also reduce your company’s carbon footprint, which, in turn, is something else you can include in your green marketing campaign. This is a clear example of all parties (you, your staff members, and even planet Earth) benefiting from best business practices.
- You will Save Money
If you can identify a potential problem and rectify it before anything major goes awry, you will save time and money. Returning to the example of electrical wires, imagine if an inspection showed they were looking a little worse for wear and recommended they be replaced on a more frequent basis instead of the wires going unchecked and causing a fire, or giving someone a shock.
You’ll be spared the considerable expenses of rebuilding, paying workers’ compensation, the wages of temporary workers, and equipment replacement costs. You also will not experience profit loss caused by an interruption in product manufacture while you wait for repairs and replacement to be complete.
- Your Company Will Be Prepared for External Audits
The CCOHS often conducts external examinations, and if you fail any of these checks the penalties can be severe. By conducting regular internal audits, you have the peace of mind of knowing that your organization is compliant with all relevant regulations so that it will pass the external examination with flying colors.
Keeping meticulous records is also very helpful here. Every time you do an internal exam, make sure that you file a report. That way, if the CCOHS finds something amiss, you can pinpoint when it first became a problem. Even better, you might be able to prove that the issue only just arose, which should show that your standards of safety are usually high.
Conducting Effective Internal Inspections
Now that we have established how important it is to conduct regular, formalized internal audits at all facilities, how do you ensure that you and your company are doing just that? The CCOHS offers excellent guidelines, and the exact nature of your inspection will depend on your organization’s size and specific features.
You will need to develop checklists for each type of inspection, such as checks of machinery on the factory floor and a separate check of all electrical wiring. As you create these lists, it is advisable to involve employees where possible. Ask for their input based on their own experiences and take note of what they have to say.
Of course, the final decisions on what to include in your formal inspections should be made by trained safety officers. These individuals will be familiar with all the legal regulations and requirements and will ensure that all bases are covered so that your operations are fully compliant with Canadian health and safety laws.
Getting workers’ opinions is not only valuable in terms of compiling thorough checklists, but also for the impact that the action has on the staff themselves. They will see that you value them and will feel like part of a united team. Ultimately, this will make them more loyal to your company so that they work harder and are more productive – a winning situation all around.