Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Work Area Safety Checklist

13 min read
Work Area Safety Checklist
Work Area Safety Checklist

When working with a safety checklist, it is important to personalize the safety checklist by making it site-specific to your operations. Use only those parts that apply to your facility. If the checklist is site-specific, you should not have a single “n/a – not applicable”. You are not finished with the list just because you have gone through your operations and marked “okay” or “not okay”. The next step is to document all the “not okays”, assign someone the responsibility of correcting the hazard or potential hazard, and the date the work is to be completed. Follow up and ensure all the corrections have been done. File all the documentation for future reference.

Below are Examples of the Work Area Safety Checklist which can be adapted to fit your work area and implement it.

Also Read: Protect Workers’ Vision with a Holistic View of Eye Safety

General Work Environment ( Safety Checklist )

❐ 1. Are the worksites clean and orderly?

❐   2. Are work surfaces kept dry or appropriate means taken to assure the surfaces are slip-resistant?

❐   3. Are floor mats, platforms, or similar protection provided to protect employees from wet floors in processes?

❐   4. Are all spilled materials or liquids cleaned up immediately?

❐   5. Is combustible scrap, debris and waste stored safely and removed from the worksite promptly?

❐   6. Are accumulations of combustible dust routinely removed from elevated surfaces including the overhead structures of buildings?

❐   7. Is combustible dust cleaned up with a vacuum system to prevent the dust from going into suspension?

❐   8. Is metallic or conductive dust prevented from entering or accumulating on or around electrical enclosures or equipment?

❐   9. Are covered metal waste cans used for oily or paint-soaked waste?

❐ 10. Are they emptied at least daily?

❐ 11. Are oil and gas-fired devices equipped with flame failure controls that will prevent the flow of fuel if pilots or main burners are not working?

❐ 12. Are the minimum number of toilets and washing facilities provided?

❐ 13. Are all toilets and washing facilities clean and sanitary?

❐ 14. Are all work areas adequately illuminated?

❐ 15. Are pits and floor openings covered or otherwise guarded?

❐ 16. Is smoking permitted in designated “safe areas” only?

❐ 17. Are NO SMOKING signs prominently posted in areas containing combustibles and flammables?

❐ 18. Do all employees know what to do in emergencies?

❐ 19. Are emergency telephone numbers posted?

Exits or Exit Routes ( Safety Checklist )

❐  1. Are all exits marked with an exit sign and illuminated by a reliable light source?

❐   2. Are the directions to exits, when not immediately apparent, marked with visible signs?

❐   3. Are doors, passageways, or stairways, that are neither exits nor access to exits and which could be mistaken for exits, appropriately marked “NOT AN EXIT”, “TO BASEMENT”, “STOREROOM”, etc?

❐   4. Are exit signs provided with the word “EXIT” in lettering at least five inches high and the stroke of the lettering at least 1⁄2 inch wide?

❐   5. Are exit doors side-hinged?

❐   6. Are all exits and means of egress kept free of obstructions?

❐   7. Are at least two means of egress provided from elevated platforms, pits, or rooms where the absence of a second exit would increase the risk of injury from hot, poisonous, corrosive, suffocating, flammable, or explosive substances?

❐   8. Are there sufficient exits to permit escape in case of emergency?

❐   9. Are special precautions taken to protect employees during construction and/or repair conditions?

❐ 10. Are the number of exits from each floor of a building and the number of exits from the building itself appropriate for the occupancy load?

❐ 11. Are exit stairways that are required to be separated from other parts of the building enclosed by at least two-hour, fire-resistant construction in buildings more than four stories high, and not less than one-hour, fire-resistive construction elsewhere?

❐ 12. When ramps are used as part of required exiting from a building, is the ramp slope limited to 1 foot vertical and 12 feet horizontal?

❐ 13. When an exit must be made through an unframed glass door, glass exit door, etc., are the doors fully tempered, and do they meet the safety requirements for human impact?

❐ 14. Is there an assigned gathering place in the event of an evacuation?

❐ 15. Is there a plan in place for headcount should an evacuation happen?

Exit Doors

❐   1. Are doors that are required to serve as exits designed and constructed so that the way of exit travel is obvious and direct?

❐   2. Are windows that could be mistaken for exit doors made inaccessible by means of barriers or railings?

❐   3. Are exit doors able to open from the direction of travel without the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort when the building is occupied?

❐   4. Is a revolving, sliding, or overhead door prohibited from serving as a required exit door?

❐   5. Where panic hardware is installed on a required exit door, will it allow the door to open by applying a force of 15 pounds or less in the direction of the exit traffic?

❐   6. Are doors on cold storage rooms provided with an inside release mechanism that will

release the latch and open the door even if it’s padlocked or otherwise locked from the outside?

❐   7. Where exit doors open directly onto any street, alley, or other areas where vehicles may be operated, are adequate barriers and warnings provided to prevent employees from stepping into the path of traffic?

❐   8. Are there viewing panels in doors that swing in both directions and are located between rooms where there is frequent traffic?

Fire Protection ( Safety Checklist )

❐  1.  Are portable fire extinguishers provided in adequate number and type?

❐  2 . Are fire extinguishers inspected monthly for general condition and operability and noted on the inspection tag?

❐  3. Are fire extinguishers recharged regularly and properly noted on the inspection tag?

❐  4. Are fire extinguishers mounted in readily accessible locations?

❐  5. If you have interior standpipes and valves, are they inspected regularly?

❐ 6. Is your fire alarm system tested at least annually?

❐  7. Are employees periodically instructed in the use of extinguishers and fire protection procedures?

❐  8. Have your outside private fire hydrants been flushed within the last year and placed on a regular maintenance schedule?

❐  9. Are fire doors and shutters in good operating condition?

❐ 10. Are they unobstructed and protected against obstruction?

❐  11. Is your local fire department well acquainted with your plant, location, and specific hazards?

Automatic Sprinklers ( Safety Checklist ) :

❐ 12. Are water control valves, and air and water pressures checked weekly?

❐ 13. Are control valves locked open?

❐ 14. Is maintenance of the system assigned to responsible persons or a sprinkler contractor?

❐ 15. Are sprinkler heads protected by metal guards where exposed to mechanical damage?

❐ 16. Is proper minimum clearance maintained around sprinkler heads?

Also Read: E-Books: Fire Safety Logbook templates

Portable Ladders

❐ 1. Are all ladders maintained in good condition, joints between steps and side rails tight, all hardware and fittings securely attached, and movable parts operating freely without binding or undue play?

❐ 2. Are non-slip safety cleats provided on each ladder?

❐ 3. Are ladder rungs and steps free of grease and oil?

❐ 4. Is it prohibited to place a ladder in front of doors opening toward the ladder except when the door is blocked open, locked or otherwise guarded?

❐ 5. Is it prohibited to place ladders on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height?

❐ 6. Are employees instructed to face the ladder when ascending or descending?

❐ 7. Are employees prohibited from using ladders that are broken, missing steps, rungs, or cleats, have broken side rails, or from using other faulty equipment?

❐ 8. Are employees instructed not to use the top step of ordinary stepladders as a step?

❐ 9. When portable extension ladders are used to gain access to elevated platforms, roofs, etc., does the ladder always extend at least 3 feet above the elevated surface?

❐ 10. Is it required that when using portable ladders, the bases be placed so that slipping will not occur, or are they lashed or otherwise held into place?

❐ 11. Are portable metal ladders legibly marked with signs reading “CAUTION: Do Not Use Around Electrical Equipment” or equivalent wording?

❐ 12. Are employees prohibited from using ladders as guys, braces, skids, gin poles or for other than their intended purpose?

❐ 13. Are employees instructed to adjust extension ladders only while standing at the base (not while standing on the ladder or from a position above the ladder)?

❐ 14. Is a ladder inspection program in place?

Also Read: Photo of the day: Ladder Safety Tips

Walkways ( Safety Checklist )

❐   1. Are the aisles and passageways kept clear?

❐   2. Are aisles and walkways marked as appropriate?

❐   3. Are wet surfaces covered with non-slip materials?

❐   4. Are holes in floors, sidewalks or other walking surfaces repaired properly, covered, or otherwise made safe?

❐   5. Is there safe clearance for walking in aisles where motorized or mechanical handling equipment is operating?

❐   6. Are materials or equipment stored in such a way that sharp projections will not interfere with the walkway?

❐   7. Are spilled materials cleaned up immediately?

❐   8. Are changes of direction or elevation readily identifiable?

❐    9. Are aisles or walkways that pass near moving or operating machinery, welding operations or similar operations arranged so employees will not be subject to potential hazards?

❐   10. Is adequate headroom provided for the entire length of any aisle or passageway?

❐   11. Are standard guardrails provided wherever aisle or walkway surfaces are elevated more than 30 inches above any adjacent floor or the ground?

❐   12. Are bridges provided over conveyors and similar hazards?

Floor and Wall Openings ( Safety Checklist )

❐   1. Are floor openings guarded by a cover, a guardrail, or equivalent on all sides (except at an entrance to a stairway or ladder)?

❐   2. Are toeboards installed around the edges of permanent floor openings (where persons may pass below the opening)?

❐   3. Are skylight screens of such construction and mounting that they will withstand a load of at least 200 pounds?

❐   4. Is the glass in windows, doors, glass walls, etc., which are subject to human impact, of sufficient thickness and type for the condition of use?

❐   5. Are grates or similar types of covers over floor openings, such as floor drains, of such design that foot traffic or rolling equipment will not be affected by the grate spacing?

❐   6. Are unused portions of service pits and pits not actually in use either covered or protected by guardrails or equivalent?

❐   7. Are manhole covers, trench covers, and similar covers, plus their supports, designed to

carry a truck rear axle load of at least 20,000 pounds when located in roadways and subject to vehicle traffic?

❐   8. Are floor or wall openings in fire-resistive construction provided with doors or covers compatible with the fire rating of the structure and provided with a self-closing feature when appropriate?

Also Read: Floor Marking Best Practices

Stairs and Stairways ( Safety Checklist )

❐   1. Are all stairways at least 22 inches wide?

❐   2. Do stairs have at least 6’6” overhead clearance?

❐   3. Do stairs angle no more than 50 and no less than 30 degrees?

❐   4. Are stairs of hollow-pan type treads and landings filled with solid materials to reduce trip hazards?

❐   5. Are steps on stairs and stairways designed or provided with a surface that renders them slip-resistant?

❐   6. Are stairway handrails located between 30 and 34 inches above the leading edge of stair treads?

❐   7. Do stairway handrails have at least 1 1/2 inches of clearance between the handrails and the wall or surface they are mounted on?

❐   8. Are stairway handrails capable of withstanding a load of 200 pounds, applied in any direction?

❐   9. Where stairs or stairways exit directly into any area where vehicles may be operated,

are adequate barriers and warnings provided to prevent employees from stepping into the path of traffic?

❐ 10. Do stairway landings have a dimension measured in the direction of travel, at least equal to the width of the stairway?

❐ 11. Is the vertical distance between stairway landings limited to 12 feet or less?

Als Read: Stairways as a fall prevention measure

Elevated Surfaces ( Safety Checklist )

❐   1. Are signs posted, when appropriate, showing elevated surface load capacity?

❐   2. Are surfaces elevated more than 30 inches above the floor or ground provided with standard guardrails?

❐   3. Are elevated surfaces (beneath which people or machinery could be exposed to falling objects) provided with standard 4-inch toe boards?

❐   4. Is a permanent means of access and exit provided to elevated storage and work surfaces?

❐   5. Is required headroom provided where necessary?

❐   6. Is the material on elevated surfaces piled, stacked or racked in a manner to prevent it from tipping, falling, collapsing, rolling or spreading?

❐   7. Are dock boards or bridge plates used when transferring materials between docks and trucks or rail cars?

Also Read: What is the difference between fall protection and fall prevention

Electrical Wiring, Fixtures, and Controls ( Safety Checklist )

❐ 1. Are workplace electricians familiar with the requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC)?

❐ 2. Do you specify compliance with the NEC for all contract electrical work?

❐ 3. Do all electrical installations in hazardous dust or vapor areas meet the NEC for hazardous locations?

❐ 4. Are all electrical cords strung so they do not hang on pipes, nails, hooks, etc.?

❐ 5. Are all conduits properly attached to all supports and tightly connected to junction and outlet boxes?

❐ 6. Do any electrical cords have fraying or broken insulation?

❐ 7. Are rubber cords kept free of grease, oil and chemicals?

❐ 8. Are metallic cable and conduit systems properly grounded?

❐ 9. Are portable electric tools and appliances grounded or double insulated?

❐10. Are all ground connections clean and tight?

❐11. Are fuses and circuit breakers the right type and size for a load of each circuit?

❐12. Are personnel aware that pennies or metal strips may not be used for “jumping” fuses?

❐13. Do switches or any electrical connections show evidence of overheating?

❐14. Are switches mounted in clean, tightly closed metal boxes?

❐15. Are all electrical switches marked to show their purpose?

❐16. Are motors clean and kept free of excessive grease and oil?

❐17. Are motors properly maintained and provided with adequate over-current protection?

❐18. Are the bearings in good condition?

❐19. Are portable lights equipped with proper guards?

❐20. Are all lamps kept free of combustible material?

 ❐ 21. Does someone competent in the NEC check your electrical system periodically?

Also Read: E-Books: Electrical Safety in the Construction Industry

Machines and Equipment ( Safety Checklist )

❐ 1. Are all machines or operations that expose operators or other employees to rotating parts, pinch points, flying chips, particles or sparks properly guarded?

❐ 2. Are mechanical power transmission belts and pinch points guarded?

❐ 3. Is exposed power shafting less than 7 feet from the floor guarded?

❐ 4. Are hand tools and other equipment regularly inspected for the safe condition?

❐ 5. Is compressed air used for cleaning reduced to less than 30 psi?

❐ 6. Are power saws and similar equipment provided with safety guards?

❐ 7. Are grinding wheel tool rests set to within 1/8 inch or less of the wheel?

❐ 8. Is there any system for inspecting small hand tools for burred ends, cracked handles, etc.?

❐ 9. Are compressed gas cylinders examined regularly for obvious signs of defects, deep rusting or leakage?

❐10. Is care used in handling and storing cylinders and valves to prevent damage?

❐11. Are all air receivers periodically examined including the safety valves?

❐12. Are safety valves tested regularly and frequently?

❐13. Is there sufficient clearance from stoves, furnaces, etc., for stock, woodwork, or other combustible materials?

❐14. Are all oil and gas-fired devices equipped with flame failure controls that will prevent flow of fuel if pilots or main burners are not working?

❐15. Is there at least a 2-inch clearance between the chimney brickwork and all woodwork or other combustible materials?

Also Read: Machine Safety and 43-Equipment Inspection Checklists

For Welding or Flame Cutting Operations ( Safety Checklist ) :

❐ 16. Are only authorized, trained personnel permitted to use such equipment?

❐ 17. Have operators been given a copy of operating instructions and asked to follow them?

❐ 18. Are welding gas cylinders stored so they are not subjected to damage?

❐ 19. Are welding gas cylinders stored at least 20 feet from oxygen cylinders?

❐ 20. Are valve protection caps in place on all cylinders not connected for use?

❐ 21. Are all combustible materials near the operator covered with protective shields or otherwise protected?

❐ 22. Is the proper fire extinguisher provided at the welding site?

❐ 23. Do operators have the proper protective clothing and equipment?

Materials ( Safety Checklist )

❐   1. Are approved safety cans or other acceptable containers used for handling and dispensing flammable liquids?

❐   2. Are all flammable liquids that are kept inside buildings stored in proper storage containers or cabinets?

❐   3. Do all spray painting or dip tank operations using combustible liquids meet OSHA standards?

❐   4. Are oxidizing chemicals stored in areas separate from all organic material except shipping bags?

❐   5. Are “NO SMOKING” rules enforced in areas designed for the storage and use of hazardous materials?

❐   6.. Is ventilation equipment provided for the removal of air contaminants from operations such as production grinding, buffing, spray painting, and/or vapor degreasing, and is it operating properly?

❐   7. Are protective measures in place for operations involved with X-rays or other radiation?

For Lift Truck Operations ( Safety Checklist ):

❐   8. Are only trained personnel allowed to operate forklift trucks?

❐   9. Is overhead protection provided on high-lift rider trucks?

For Toxic Materials ( Safety Checklist ):

❐ 10. Are all materials used checked for toxic qualities?

❐ 11. Is there a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each chemical in the workplace?

❐ 12. Have appropriate control procedures such as ventilation systems, enclosed operations, safe handling practices, and proper personal protective equipment (respirators, glasses or goggles, gloves, etc.) been installed for toxic materials?

Employee Protection ( Safety Checklist )

❐   1. Is there a hospital, clinic, or infirmary for medical care close by?

❐   2. If medical and first-aid facilities are not nearby, are there one or more employees trained in first-aid?

❐   3. Are the first-aid supplies adequate for the type of potential injuries in your workplace and do they comply with American National Standard Institute (ANSI) Z308.1-1978?

❐   4. Are there quick water flush facilities available where employees are exposed to corrosive materials?

❐   5. Are hard hats provided and worn where any danger of falling objects exists?

❐   6. Are protective glasses or goggles provided and worn where there is any danger of flying particles or splashing of corrosive materials?

❐   7. Are protective gloves, aprons, shields or other means provided for protection from sharp, hot or corrosive materials?

❐   8. Are approved respirators provided for regular or emergency use where needed?

❐   9. Is all protective equipment maintained in a sanitary condition and readily available for use?

❐ 10. If special equipment is needed for electrical workers, is it available?

❐ 11. Are eating/break rooms located in areas where there is no exposure to toxic materials, and not in toilet facility areas?

❐ 12. Is protection against occupational noise exposure provided when the sound levels exceed those of the OSHA noise standard?

Note – Safety checklists can be found for specific types of operations and procedures such as:

  1. Spraying Operations
  2. Lockout/Tagout Procedures
  3. Entering Confined Spaces
  4. Hazardous Materials Storeroom
  5. Hoists and Auxiliary Equipment
  6. Machine Guarding
  7. Conveyors

For More Forms and Checklists CLICK HERE

Also, Download 35 Inspection forms for Rig Check

For Many Safety Resources and Downloads please visit safety bag resources

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