By: Stacey Godbold
7 Tips for Conducting a Successful Remote/Virtual Safety Inspection
In a recent episode of the new Sospes podcast, Tom Caron talks about virtual inspections.
Tom, the CEO of Sospes, also wrote about virtual inspections back in early 2020, right after the pandemic hit. (Remember pre-Covid!?) His article, plus the accompanying video, touch upon some of the ways a safety professional can use technology, along with a co-worker in the field, to conduct an inspection of a worksite.
Back then, some of you might have thought that virtual inspections were a flash in the pan. Well, time has proven that they’re not going away. We’re stuck with them. I, for one, think that they’re often a great alternative to in-person inspections. But for them to be successful, you can’t just wing it. That’s why, in this article, I’m going to share a few tips that will increase your chances of pulling off a virtual inspection without any hitches.
- Learn from history.
- If you’ve previously performed in-person inspections of the worksite, think back to those moments. Next, try as best you can to list what made them successful. If there’s anyway that you can emulate those in-person moments somehow with technology in your virtual inspection, then great.
- Get buy-in.
- Make sure you include all of the right people in planning a virtual inspection. Know that some people in your company might be hesitant with replacing in-person inspections. Try to get them on your side by explaining the benefits of virtual inspections.
- Rules and regulations.
- Before you commit to virtually inspecting a worksite, check to make sure that there aren’t any company rules or government regulations that require only in-person inspections.
- Pick your technology.
- When conducting a virtual inspection, you—as the safety professional—will be on a video call with a coworker at the jobsite. You two will collaborate so that the coworker can show you, via a video-conferencing app, exactly what you’re inspecting.
- So, what technology are you going to pick? Zoom? FaceTime? Google Meet? Microsoft Teams?
- I have only one strong opinion on the technology you pick—use one that can enable you to record the video call. That way you can later upload that video file to your safety software.
- Plan the inspection.
- List all of the machines and locations that you’re going to go (if applicable).
- Identify all of the people you’re going to talk with during the inspection (if applicable).
- Safety inspection checklists—check!
- With an in-person inspection, you’d probably walk around with a clipboard or a tablet, and you’d mark off various items on a list on a customized checklist.
- Example: If you’re doing a remote fire safety inspection, make sure you have your Fire Prevention Checklist at hand.
- Example: If you’re inspecting your Hytrol conveyor belt, make sure you have your Hytrol’s conveyor checklist.
- This isn’t a slapdash video for your socials.
- As much as possible, ask the person holding the video camera to keep it relatively still while filming. Any quick movements or sudden turns could cause the video to blur or for it to miss an important detail.
After you’ve done all of the above preparation, all you have to do is conduct the virtual inspection! Good luck!
Oh, just below is the podcast episode that features Tom Carosn. In it, he talks with our partner in safety, Apolonia Rockwell, CEO of True Safety Services.
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This episode was produced by Story On Media & Marketing: https://www.successwithstories.com.