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Inspection Tags: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why are safety inspections important?


Safety inspections are essential for all workplaces to identify hazards, monitor compliance with OSHA and other applicable standards, and take appropriate corrective measures for the health and safety of employees.

Regular safety inspections are often a compliance requirement set forth by authorities such as OSHA, NFPA, state agencies, etc. These help a business uncover safety or health risks, review and revise existing safety measures, implement new measures to limit the chances of an incident, and create awareness about safe practices and hazard prevention. Inspections are also a means to strengthen employee faith in the organization and improve productivity.

Q. Are there any laws or regulations around safety inspections?


Safety inspections form an integral part of most agencies’ workplace safety requirements. For instance, the OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.178 requires that all industrial trucks be inspected daily before being placed in service or after every shift when used on an around-the-clock basis. OSHA 1910.157 holds employers responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and testing all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace. 

Similarly, OSHA 1926.451 warrants that scaffolds and scaffold components be inspected for visible defects before each work shift, and after any occurrence that could compromise a scaffold's structural integrity. The standard 1910.101 deals with compressed gases’ health and safety requirements and requires that compressed gas cylinders undergo visual and other inspections. 

The ANSI standard Z358.1-2009 requires plumbed flushing equipment like eyewash stations to be visually checked to determine if the flushing fluid needs to be changed or supplemented. Likewise, there may be many other such federal and/or state standards and regulations about safety inspections in different workplaces. You should get in touch with a relevant local body for more accurate information and compliance requirements. 

Q. What are inspection tags?


Inspection tags are a type of safety device helpful in creating a safe working environment for employees. These record the health status of tools and equipment and communicate critical safety details such as the last inspection date, inspection authority, any precautions or prohibitions, and so on. Inspection tags are crucial to managing and mitigating hazards and serve as good reminders of when the next maintenance session is due.

Q. How are inspection tags useful?


Inspection tags play an important role in keeping a facility or operation safe and help ensure that proper procedures are followed during safety inspections. Tags also let employers know when the next maintenance is due and which machines/parts need repairs or replacement. 

Inspection tags tell workers and employees whether a piece of equipment is safe for use or should be avoided. These can effectively convey workplace hazards and safety precautions and provide inputs to employers about any in-progress inspection/maintenance status. 

Used with everything from scaffolding and ladders to fire extinguishers and eyewash stations, inspection tags make effective visual communication and record-keeping tools. These can help create a smooth workflow with proper coordination between functions/departments by indicating to employees and repair personnel which jobs must be completed.

Q. What information should inspection tags contain?


Inspection tags are designed to track inspection activities and provide equipment safety status reports to users and authorities. These should contain information ranging from the equipment details to inspection timelines and agency. This can include the name, make, and model number of the equipment, inspection date, type, and outcome, and any hazard or precaution (s) linked to equipment usage.

This is not a comprehensive list. Authorities such as OSHA, NFPA, etc., and state/local bodies may have additional general or industry-specific requirements about how inspections should be performed and what information should be recorded.

Q. What are the benefits of using inspection tags?

From compliance to confidence-building and uninterrupted operations, inspection tags offer many benefits. Using these ensures your business complies with important worker safety requirements often mandated by OSHA and other such agencies. Inspection tags also help you create and maintain a safe workplace and avoid sudden failures or issues that could disrupt operations. Regular inspections indicated by appropriate inspection tags communicate to employees that you’re serious about their health and safety, which goes a long way in building employee morale and improving performance. Tags also put you in a proactive position to prevent/control things from going wrong than indulging in damage control later.
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