There are all sorts of inspection software solutions out there. Some are designed for the needs of food safety inspections, other for construction safety inspections, etc. A common work process between all sorts of inspection models is the checklist data gathering. When we say inspector, we always imagine someone with a list of paper and pen in his hand, or with a tablet and stylus. This is the moment when the inspector is gathering data and uses checklists to do that effectively.

What’s the role of checklist in inspections?

The checklists is just an ordinary list of tasks that may be specific for each field of inspections. They are a tool that prevents inspectors from missing an important task during inspection. That’s why the optimal use of checklist is a constant work in progress that needs to be updated every now and then.

One of the most advertised benefits of using inspection software is the improved productivity that saves the time of inspectors. The time saving benefit that’s owed to digital checklists is mostly a result of streamlining the data gathering during inspections and automating the preparation of reports. Doing inspections in the cloud doesn’t fit with using pen and paper checklist. That’s why good inspection software needs a well thought checklist functionality.  So what should we require from inspection checklist perspective when we research different software solutions for inspections?

Related: What’s the benefit of route optimisation in inspections?

What are the benefits of inspection checklists?

  • Checklists improve safety

The use of relevant and detailed checklists in the inspection management is crucial to ensuring safety. That’s why checklists must be easy to create, edit and save for future use. In other words configurability is what should be expected from a decent inspection software. It means that inspectors have to be able to create and work with different checklists – one that serves the daily inspections, other that serves more critical inspections and so on. When the checklists are pre-defined, inspectors can easily load the checklist template they need on their device and conduct their inspections without missing something important that may lead to big mistake.

  • Improved communication between departments in regulatory agencies and enterprises

Inspection data is a constant subject to analysis. The old-fashioned way of going through data is to dig yourself into a bunch of paper and move folders with documents across halls and floors. However, if a cloud based inspection management system is ensuring the digital processing of data gathering, then the analysis of inspection data would be far more easy to be done or sent for review by inspection directors, analysts or some other government agency.

  • The completed checklist are automatically uploaded and stored to the cloud

This gives flexibility to everyone in the inspection management process and things happen faster. Inspectors can also attach documents such as photos or pdf files to the inspection data. This way everything will be in one folder and stored digitally. A digital inspection management solution with good document management system solves a lot of problems for the inspectors who are still using the pen and paper method for conducting inspections. This problem solving feature can be tested at very early stage through proof of concept.

Related: Why and how should we test a proof of concept of inspection management software?

  • Inspection checklists can be reused and their data saved

No need to make new checklist every time before inspection. Inspectors can just reuse the last used inspection checklist. The data from digital inspection checklists can be combined with other data and used for the purposes of visualizing trends or just informing the higher management about the big picture.

  • No paper means more security and more access.

To top all of the benefits, comes the green promise for using less papers and utilising resources with more care to the nature. This is one of the values that stays behind our inspection management solution – Canalix.

Checklists remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They not only offer the possibility of verification but also instill a kind of discipline of higher performance.

The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande

Automation is the main tool that we use to increase efficiency. Automating inspection checklists is an example of how everyone in the inspection management process can save valuable time that was previously spend on searching for information, making reports, planning and scheduling of inspections. Now all these time-consuming tasks can be reduced to just few clicks with the mouse. But in order to work, checklists must be well thought in the stage of research and buying inspection software.

Do you want to learn more about the benefits of using configurable checklists in digital inspections? Contact us here.

If we look at the official data for non-fatal accidents at work in the EU, the statistic will show us graphs that either go up or down. Going up means more accidents at work, while going down means the opposite. More accidents means more expenses. So the reasonable question here for both  – regulators and private enterprises that are subject to regulations is: how to control the rate of work accidents and keep it down? The indirect answer is: by optimising the safety inspection program of the organisation. The more direct answer that tells exactly how to do that, you’ll find below.

The basic purpose of optimising the safety inspection programs is to ensure:

1. Worker’s safety

Keeping the workforce safe ensures the long-term stability of the company’s worker retention program

2. Good reputation

An organisation with low rate of work accidents is an organisation with good reputation. It’s an advantage and should be recognised as such.

3. No disruption of operations

The safety of the work environment improves productivity and reduces the disruption of operations. Avoiding disruptions helps company to keep their work on the budget they planned.

4. No fines by regulators

Regulations are being updated regularly. That’s why it’s important to use an inspection solution that ensures that regulations are being followed in an up to date manner. Because fines may seriously side track the company’s plan.

safety inspection software

A good safety inspection program may be divided by three components:

  1. Inspection planning & scheduling

    The inspection planning and scheduling component needs constant optimising because a good plan can improve the resource utilisation and prevent mistakes.

  2. Inspection execution

    The inspection execution component is the part that can significantly improve the speed and quality of inspections. The use of technology can transform the work of inspectors by allowing them to use pre-defined inspection checklists or just benefit from entirely digital document management system. The digital infrastructure of the inspection management process can remove the manual work that often slows down inspectors.

  3. Training

    The digital infrastructure allows inspectors to gain better visibility on inspection outcomes and therefore recommend relevant actions and training to the workers that can reduce the risk of accidents on the workplace.

The importance of digitizing the safety inspection checklists

What’s the best way for inspector to identify risks during safety inspection? By following a checklist. When everything’s written down on a checklist, the inspector has a better chance to cover all of the potential risks. With digital inspection management solution, the process can be improved even more. When regulatory bodies adopt software solutions for safety inspections, the pre-defined checklists can be easily implemented into the work process of inspectors. For different types of safety inspections can be configured specific checklists.

If we step out of the regulatory inspections field for a moment and look at the general impact of checklists, we’ll see double confirmation about their benefits. A lot of researches are pointing that checklists help experts to execute their projects more efficiently. In an important field like safety inspections, the power of checklists must be utilized to ensure the wellbeing not only of workers, but of the community at all.

Checklists remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They not only offer the possibility of verification but also instill a kind of discipline of higher performance.

Source: Checklists help eliminate mistakes and improve efficiency

Why a safety inspection software must have configurable checklists?

Safety inspections are complex and that’s why configurability must be a part of the requirements to any inspection management solution. A good configurable inspection software will allow regulatory agencies to configure specific checklists for each type of safety inspections – safety inspections for tools and equipment, for electrical concerns, for scaffolding, etc. Checklists are very overlooked component in the inspection programs. Their function is a gamechanger when it comes to data gathering. Because only detailed and correctly gathered data may generate a valuable inspection report. 

The importance of optimising safety inspection reports

The outcome of a safety inspection inspection ends into a report. The report has the purpose to recommend corrective actions to reduce the risks of hazards in the future. However, a report may or may not be efficient if the best practices aren’t followed.

The benefits that safety inspection reports bring are:

1. Capturing erro-free inspection data

A good inspection checklist is a key to gathering sufficient error-free data that can be exported into inspection report.

2. Real-time documenting of inspections

Recording inspections in real-time allows inspectors to capture fully their observations. The performing of field inspections with tablet allows them to capture images in the mean time and attach them to the reporting file. The image can make feedback more clear.

3. Full visibility over inspection data

The digital gathering of inspection data allows inspectors to gain better visibility over the inspected subjects. The leverage on data can make inspections more risk-focused and help not only to mitigate risks, but also improve over all compliance.

4. Make safety inspection reports readable

Big words and complex sentences have no place in inspection reports. Reports must be understandable and clear. No unreadable handwriting! Automating the generation of inspection reports based on the gathered data and collected observations, can ensure the readability of the reports.

How to find the right safety inspection software?

The choice of inspection management system  depends on the strategy that the organization is following. If a government agency is following a cloud-first strategy, then sure their focus must be on cloud inspection services. If the organization is focused at health and food safety, then they should aim at a solution that is specialised in this sector. The same applies for enterprises that want to transform their inner inspections and audits.

Two rules for preparing safety inspection research:

  1. Find something that will answer your goals – cloud-based solution or on-premise solution?
  2. Find something that will be a good fit to your use case – work safety inspections, food safety inspections, environmental inspections, etc.

Related: All you need to know about cloud strategy in government agencies

Prepare a list of requirements and start your research. Then reach out to potential suppliers and book a Product tour or a Demo session that can highlight the features that can provide the execution of the best practices we described above. The next reasonable step would be to order a proof of concept.

Are you looking for safety inspection software? Contact us now and we’ll help your select the best solution for your safety inspection requirements.