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Published 02/04/2024


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 walk, 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. This is commonly done using a safety walk checklist from managers on a mobile tablet or phone. A safety walk can be a fantastic discovery mechanism for identifying potential problems in the workplace which could prevent an incident from occuring.

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Importance of safety walkthrough

It is a way to identify potential hazards in your workplace and ensure the safety of employees. It also allows you to verify that all safety regulations are being adhered to and that any hazardous materials or objects are properly contained.

A safety walk by check list provides an effective method for supervisors and managers to go through and inspect their working environment quickly and methodically, identifying anything that may be a hazard. With this type of check list, employers can create a safer working environment for everyone involved, giving staff peace of mind when they enter the workplace each day.

- 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.

- Feedback
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.

A safety walk by also helps ensure management are involved in site safety, personally conducting a walk by of a workplace and cross checking the status of assets, hazards and risks.

What to check during the Safety Walk

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.

2. Equipment
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.
3. Processes
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.

Why is a safety walk by important?

Leaders, managers and supervisors will often conduct a leadership safety walk by check list as a regular routine to inspect their workplace and conduct an audit across a range of areas (see below list). This might be divided up into risk categories (high risk areas, low risk areas) and forms part of an overall strategy of risk control.

- leadership walk by around side to conduct an audit
- managers inspection across a range of areas and categories
- supervisor walk by check list

This can lead to preventing incidents from happening, identifying problems early on that need to be fixed and identifying a changing in circumstances for a workplace area.

Common Leadership Safety Walk By Fields

The following fields are common on a safety walk by check list:

- Date Completed
- Time Observed
- Observer Name
- Reported To
- Area

- Are designated aisles and walkways clear
- Are floors swept clean and surfaces undamaged and free from trip hazards

- Are machine guards in place where required
- Safety notices clearly displayed

- Are any supporting structures damaged
- Are gutters and drains clear and undamaged

- Are visitors signed in appropriate safety attire
- No temporary wiring or long extension leads

- Area of inspection has adequate lighting
- Power outlets are serviceable and not damaged

- Are safety showers unobstructed and serviceable
- Are first aid boxes accessible

- Approved safety containers
- Approved earth straps and drum pumps etc

- Safety posters and warning signs visible
- Condition and availability of PPE notices
- Safety and PPE Comments

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