Safety for employees is a priority before constructing any building. A safety walk is a perceptual inspection of a building with the idea of identifying and inspecting potential hazard conditions. Developing a safety checklist is not enough, and the agreed possible solutions must be put in place and implemented.
Developing a safety walk checklist ensures commitment to implementing and fixing the identified hazards. Managers are responsible for checking the hazards and notify the employees before fixing the faults. For the process to be complete, and as the name suggests, managers must go through the workstations to identify the faults but do it safely.
In a safety walkthrough, supervisors and line managers go through the workplace and observe work in progress to identify the risks. It does not involve planning the checklist but visiting workstations to check how work is being done.
Importance of safety walkthrough
- Understand real-life hazards
Since the hazards are identified by supervisors while employees are carrying out their tasks, they get to understand the dangers they are exposed to easily other than theoretically advised not to interfere with certain tools. An example is when a supervisor walks around a construction site and advises employees not to stand under the boom of an excavator.
- Identify potential dangers
Employees may be unaware of the risks they are exposed to, or they may be ignorant to adhere to safety measures that are in place. When supervisors and line managers walk through the workplace, they monitor keenly how employees are executing their duties and evaluate their effectiveness. They identify the mistakes that may pile up and bring enormous hazards to the employees and assets.
- Assessing the status of safety within the workplace
When supervisors and line managers go through the workplace on normal days of duty, they note all possible hazards that might occur anytime due to a lack of safety measures or ignorance. They use the data collected to analyze and assess the safety of the employees and upgrade weak areas while training the employees on the importance of personal safety and protection.
- Creating awareness
Awareness is the best practice in the workplace, and it should be created daily because employees interact with different machines. Though employees cannot fully adhere to safety measures due to human errors, awareness makes to be on their toes whenever they tend to be ignorant. Employees ignorance can be manifested when an employee ignores to wear gloves in a duty that requires them.
Top management and employer receive routine updates from the supervisors and line managers and use the information to plan for the safety of the employees. If the safety hazards identified are a result of a lack of safety tools, they plan for the procurement of PPEs, and if the hazards are related to ignorance, training and awareness are provided to the employees.
What to check during the walkthrough
1. Working environment
Managers examine the workplace environment for potential health hazards. The environment should be free from distractions such as noise, heat, coldness, rays, slippery floors, steep stairs, etc. The external and internal environment should be conducive to a smooth workflow.
Managers and supervisors watch machines while on operations to identify unpleasant noise, unclear movements, and breakages. The condition is noted, and if the situation is worse, the machine is replaced ASAP.
Shifting from one activity to another and changing processes should be done effectively. Supervisors and managers monitor the processes in the production and processing of goods to evaluate the worthiness of the process. If the process has possible hazards, rectification is planned on the spot.
4. Emergency plans
While in the field, employees plan for possible emergency solutions to implement the plans. When supervisors and managers visit the workplace, they notice areas that require emergency exit points, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, alarms, and water points.
Safety walkthrough is important as risk assessment, and it should be conducted on a daily basis. When fully implemented, employees feel free when working because they are assured of instant correction of mistakes and inspection of machines.
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