Safety Awakening – “Hazard Surveys vs Safety Inspections”

January 1, 2018 No Comments

“Hazard Surveys vs Safety Inspections”  

Is there any difference between a “Hazard Survey” and a “Safety Inspection”?   I believe that there is.

A “Safety Inspection” is a survey where one uses a checklist to evaluate a machine, process, or work environment.   Often these inspections are performed to both determine if there is compliance with governmental safety requirements, and to document said compliance.

Checklists are a handy reminder for new/young safety professionals,  supervisors,  and those not familiar with the operation/equipment being inspected.



A “Hazard Survey” is a foray into a work environment by a safety professional for the purpose of identifying and quantifying hazards (aka Risk Assessment).  Hazard Surveys are more concerned with accident prevention then with regulatory compliance.

They are usually done without the aid of a checklist.  However, the surveyor will usually carry a digital camera and a clipboard (or iPad with hazard survey app) to document their findings.

The surveyor will focus on areas where prior accidents/near misses have occurred, and on operations that have the potential to cause a fatalities or severe injuries.

Unlike Safety Inspections that focus almost exclusively on unsafe conditions, Hazard Surveys will also consider unsafe acts.  During the survey, physical conditions are evaluated and employees are interviewed.   Some surveyors use risk assessment matrices to quantify the risk by evaluating its potential for harm and its likely frequency.



Translate This Page