Safety Self-Audit or Self-Inspection - Checklist

Author: Jennifer Brantley

In order to better prepare for an OSHA inspector, it is a good idea to do a safety self-inspection and audit. Complete self-inspection and audits depend in large part on specific workplaces.

For example, a laboratory would have a different checklist than an office, which would be different from a factory. For these reasons, working with an expert in the field to create a unique checklist is the best way to begin a self-inspection and audit.

However, the following safety considerations are a good way to start thinking about the process and to ensure any created checklist covers the most important areas of evaluation.

Phase 1: Create a brief overview of safety concerns by examining OSHA Documents

  • OSHA Logs - examine all employee illnesses and injuries to identify potential hazards.

    Y/N Is there an injury that is occurring more than others?

    Y/N Is there a location where a higher than average amount of injuries are occurring?

Phase 2: Is every safety notice posted?

  • OSHA Poster 3165: Job Safety and Health: It's the Law
  • OSHA Form 300A (if it is between February 1 and April 30)
  • Emergency exit and fire evacuation routes
  • OSHA Citations (if applicable)
  • Petitions for Modification or Abatement (if applicable)
  • Any State Required Posting

Phase 3: Recordkeeping

  • Are all recordable injuries and illnesses being properly recorded on OSHA Form 300 and OSHA Form 301?
  • Are injuries and illnesses being properly totaled onto the OSHA Form 300a at the end of the year?
  • Are medical records up-to-date and accessible?
  • Is proper documentation of safety training up-to-date and accessible?

Phase 4: General Considerations

  • Is the workplace housekeeping efficient and frequent?
  • Are spills quickly and completely cleaned?
  • Are breaks repaired in a timely fashion?
  • Are walkways, entrances and exits free from clutter?
  • Are air samples performed to keep the air free from toxins?

Phase 5: Safety Training

Make a list of all applicable areas of training required by the employer and make sure each is in compliance:

  • Training is performed upon hiring (if applicable).
  • Training is conducted on a regular basis.
  • Training is performed whenever a change in operation/performance is made.
  • Training is conducted whenever a current employee has a job change.
  • Training meets or exceeds all OSHA requirements.
  • Training program is in writing and can be accessed by OSHA or any requesting employee.
  • Training is documented and kept on file.

Phase 6: Personal Protective Equipment

Make a list of required PPE:

  • Is the PPE supplied by the employer?
  • Is the cost covered by the employer?
  • Do employees know how to access, put on and use the equipment?
  • Is PPE in good shape and replaced when old/broken?

Phase 7: Machinery

Make a list of all machinery and equipment used by the employer:

  • Is the machinery or equipment in good repair?
  • Is the machinery or equipment checked on a regular basis?
  • Is the machinery or equipment utilizing the best technology?
  • Are only trained, qualified employees using the machinery or equipment?

Phase 8: Job Hazard Analysis

Make a list of all job positions and create job descriptions for each job. Watch and observe all jobs from beginning until end.

  • Interview employees with each job position.
  • Make notes of injury and illness history for each position.
  • Examine what stage or location the most injuries and illnesses occur.
  • Brainstorm better ways to perform job functions.

Phase 9: Buildings

  • Make sure buildings meet or exceed all building codes.
  • Make sure buildings are free from toxins and molds.
  • Make sure exits are clear and easily accessible.

Phase 10: Fire and Evacuation

  • Make sure employer has a fire and evacuation policy that meets OSHA standards.
  • Are evacuation routes clearly posted?
  • Are drills being conducted on a regular basis?
  • Are alarms in place and functioning?
  • Can alarms be heard in every location in the building?
  • Is there a designated meeting spot for employees after an evacuation?
  • Is there a method of accounting for employees after an evacuation?

Phase 11: First Aid

  • Are there first aid kits in easy access of every part of the workplace?
  • Are the kits appropriately stocked for the workplace?
  • Are enough employees trained in first aid?
  • Is all training adequate?

Phase 12: OSHA recommends specific areas be covered in a self-audit

Does the audit checklist created by the employer cover every area?

  • Processing, Receiving, Shipping and Storage
  • Building and Grounds Conditions
  • Housekeeping Program
  • Electricity
  • Lighting
  • Heating and Ventilation
  • Machinery
  • Personnel
  • Hand and Power Tools
  • Chemicals
  • Fire Prevention
  • Maintenance
  • PPE
  • Transportation
  • First Aid Program/Supplies
  • Evacuation Plan

Additional Resources

OSHA Self-Inspection Checklists

Job Hazard Analysis

Risk Management - Health, Safety, Security > HR and Workplace Safety (OSHA Compliance) > Safety Self-Inspections and Self-Audits

How to Conduct a Safety Self-Audit or Self-Inspection