The Use of a Group Structure in Safety Inspections

Safety Inspections

Most cloud-based safety inspection software allows users to conduct inspections in a variety of ways. The most common or traditional approach is to perform an inspection on a single, specific object. That object can be a room, an asset, or a person. In the case of the room or asset, the scope of the inspection is generally limited to that object. When inspecting a person, that scope can be expanded to include any number of rooms and/or assets.  But what if your goal was to inspect a collection of assets, rooms, or people, simultaneously? That’s where the concept of “groups” in the SafetyStratus inspection module comes into play.  In this article, we will detail what a group structure is and the advantages it lends to performing safety inspections.

What is Group Structure?

In the SafetyStratus platform, a “group” is any collection of inspectable objects. These objects can be rooms, assets, users, or a combination of these. A group structure also entails a corresponding inspection roster. When a specific group is inspected, an individual can be assigned responsibility for any corrective actions that are generated. Group structuring also enables objects to be organized by type, while inspection templates and/or schedules can be assigned either to individual groups or the entire group type (in the same way that they can be assigned by assets/asset types and rooms/room types).

Structuring Inspections by Group

The concept of structuring inspections by groups creates multiple options for organizations to approach their safety inspection goals. Group structuring enables a company to perform inspections on many assets, or several collections of assets. Assets can easily be organized into groups within the SafetyStratus software so that a single inspection can cover every asset within a group.  If corrective action is required, the inspector can select which asset from the group that the issue pertains to and then assign it to the appropriate person on the roster. Similarly, a collection of rooms can be combined into one group within the system. This is useful in the scenario where an entire building or floor must be inspected. The desired set of rooms can be grouped so that only one inspection will need to be carried out, instead of an individual inspection for each space. All responsible parties for that group of rooms are included in the inspection roster. If there is a need for corrective action, depending on where the action is required, the appropriate user can then be assigned to address it. User inspections can also be streamlined through group structuring capabilities. A group approach provides the only means by which multiple users can be audited on a single inspection.

Advantages to Group Inspections

Several immediate advantages are presented in structuring inspections by groups. Most notably, grouping objects together creates a much more efficient approach where auditing those objects no longer needs to be handled by individual inspections. This not only dramatically cuts down the number of inspections to be carried out, but also greatly reduces the number of automated system notifications (emails) that are generated. The same level of detail can be ascribed to each object within the group, but with much less virtual clutter and effort from the inspectors.

From a record-keeping and compliance perspective, the SafetyStratus platform takes additional steps to ensure that inspection histories are noted and visible, even when viewing the individual profile of any grouped object (room, asset, or user.) When a group inspection is complete, a record of that inspection (with a report link) is automatically added to the profile of every object within that group. For example, if an inspection is performed for a group of rooms, you will find details of that inspection in any of those room’s system profiles under the heading, “Recent Inspections.” (Under that heading you would also find details for any other inspections that included that particular room within the group scope).  No matter how the audit was organized (individual object vs group,) all inspections are detailed within the easily accessible inspection history.

Thinking outside of the box when it comes to new or different approaches to safety audits can yield amazing improvements to an organization’s inspection efforts. This is exactly what the team at SafetyStratus had in mind when developing the software for group inspection structuring. Implementing a fresh approach as part of a comprehensive software system can result in an immediate boost to the efficiency of safety programs, profiting in more time and energy to focus on making institutions safer for every member of the team.

AUTHOR BIO

Joe comes to the SafetyStratus team with over 15 years of experience in the biological sciences and laboratory management and safety. At the University of Connecticut, and later at the University of the Sciences, Joe managed multiple high-volume biology teaching laboratories. He also worked as an Aquatic Biologist for the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds. Most recently Joe held the position of Laboratory Safety Manager in the University of the Sciences’ Environmental Health & Safety Department, overseeing all aspects of safety inspections and compliance in over 150 campus teaching and research spaces.

Originally from Connecticut, Joe has lived in the Philadelphia suburbs for the last 10 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Maine at Fort Kent. In his free time, Joe enjoys working out, taking in a good football game or movie, and traveling with his wife to sunny Caribbean destinations whenever possible.

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