Workplace Inspections Procedure

Approved By: Bill Bragnalo, Human Resources Director
Approved on: August 15, 2003
Revised on:

To implement workplace inspections as required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and to further promote workplace health and safety. Employees and supervisors must be vigilant in recognizing deficiencies in the workplace including the use of unsafe work practices. This mandate shall be exercised to full fill our legal obligation under the Internal Responsibility System (IRS).


  1. All employees of Lakehead University shall be focused on recognizing workplace hazards and shall exercise appropriate due diligence to minimize risks.
  2. All parties (employees and supervisors) shall work together to eliminate workplace hazards, prioritize safety concerns and take corrective action.
  3. Workplace inspections by safety committee members shall be conducted in accordance with the prescribed requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 9.
    (See attached, Appendix A.)
  4. Safety concerns which can not be rectified immediately shall be reported by the safety committee inspectors to: a) supervisors of areas where hazards were noticed; and b) Human Resources Officer (Health and Safety)
  5. The safety committee inspectors shall identify, on the check list, the names of the University supervisor(s) or administrator(s) to whom the safety concern has been referred.
  6. The management representative or a supervisor(s) of the area where the hazard had been identified and not corrected within the identified timeline, shall inform the specific joint health and safety committee of the corrective action plan including the additional time or resources required.


Inspection Categories:
There are several types of workplace inspections that are a part of internal responsibility system and due diligence. Daily or walkabouts inspections are performed by employees by supervisors to check for obvious hazards. Spot inspections are performed by supervisors to ensure safe work practices. Specialized inspections include pre-operational checks and critical parts inspections in equipment. Monthly planned inspections are comprehensive inspections performed by safety committee members assigned to inspect a specific area.
Written inspections reports should be completed for all inspections and be kept as proof of due diligence on behalf of the University. Currently, the University utilizes two (2) different types of checklists for this purpose. All inspections, other then planned inspections, shall be maintained by each department. Monthly planned inspections reports/check lists shall be kept in the Human Resources office. Inspection reports can be audited by the Ministry of Labour.

Planned Monthly Inspections:
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires that these inspections be conducted monthly. If this is not practical, then the workplace shall be inspected yearly with a part of the workplace being inspected monthly according to a written schedule determined by the specific committee.

Lakehead University has three (3) Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) with each assigned to a different area. For specific information regarding JHSC at Lakehead University see "Joint Health and Safety Committees Procedures."

Inspections must be carried out by worker members of the committee shall include a management member. An area supervisor should be invited to participate in the inspection process.
All safety concerns must be noted on the check list and prioritized according to severity of hazards. Situations which may cause danger to life or health must be corrected immediately, isolated or work should be stopped. Training on proper ways of conducting workplace inspections will be provided to members of all JHSC and updates will be scheduled as required.

After inspections are completed, the appropriate JHSC shall review the inspection reports and the actions recommended. A summary of the inspection findings should be reflected in the minutes of the JHSC meeting.

This standard will be evaluated annually by the Human Resources Officer after consultation with members the Joint Health and Safety Committees. Changes will be incorporated and acknowledgements recorded by July 31 of each year.

Appendix A

Requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 9
9.(20) A construction or employer who received written recommendation from a committee shall respond in writing within twenty-one days.
9.(21) A response of a constructor or employer under subsection (20) shall contain a timetable for implementing the recommendations the constructor or employer agrees with and give reasons that the constructor or employer disagrees with any recommendations that the constructor or employer does not accept.
9.(23) The members of committee who represent workers shall designate a member representing workers to inspect the physical conditions of the workplace.
9.(24) If possible, the member designate shall be certified member.
9.(25) The members of a committee are not required to designate the same member to perform all inspections or to perform all of particular inspection.
9.(26) Unless otherwise required by the regulations or by the order of inspector, a member designated shall inspect the physical condition of the workplace at least once a month.
9.(27) If it is not practical to inspect the workplace at least once a month, the member designated shall inspect the physical condition of the workplace at least once a year, inspecting at least a part of the workplace in each month.
9.(28) The inspection required shall be undertaken in accordance with a schedule established by the committee.
9.(29) The employer and the workers shall provide a member designated with such information and assistance s the member may require for the purpose of carrying out an inspection of the workplace.
9.(30) The member shall inform the committee of situations that may be a source of danger or hazard to workers and committee shall consider such information within a reasonable period of time.
9.(31) The members of a committee who represent workers shall designate one or more such members to investigate cases where a worker is killed or critically injured at a workplace from any cause and one of those members may, subject to subsection 5(2), inspect the place where the accident occurred and any machine, device or thing, and shall report his or her findings to a Director and to the committee.