by James Hinton
The COVID-19 pandemic has given way to a multitude of problems and resolutions for the safety professional. One large problem is how to complete safety inspections/audits when we need to reduce travel and limit exposure to the virus at facilities and construction sites?
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced safety professionals to take a very holistic and integrated approach toward site inspections and audits. The safety professional must be able to maintain facility site safety through regular inspections and audits to keep the sites in safe a condition for the employees and the public. Safety professionals have been able to quickly adapt to the pandemic’s resulting issues in many inventive ways. They have the ability to complete required and needed site safety audits and inspections while still complying with COVID-19 safety recommendations.
With today’s technology the safety professional of the pandemic has a multitude of available options to keep their facilities and sites safe while also taking into consideration the pandemic health related concerns. Today safety professionals are completing site safety and health audits virtually through smart phones and tablets! These virtual site audits are becoming very popular very quickly with the options of software that can be purchased or by just the use of conferencing tools that most companies already have available. With this technology it has become easy for the safety professional and the site manager to walk a facility in real time and complete a safety audit/inspection giving the company the ability to keep the employees safe and public safe in these very complex times. This also seems to create new participation in the audit process from new members of leadership and even lower employees being involved based on the environment. The ability to walk through a site while working from home or the office gives the safety professional and management the ability to see the site in real time and with live interaction instead of just a findings report with corrective actions.
As this pandemic continues, the safety professional will continue to face issues but, with the technology available they can overcome these issues and continue to protect workers and the public. The next question will be after this pandemic will this be the new norm for companies with multiple locations and will the future of safety audits and inspections be more virtual than in person?