Hazard Assessments and Workplace Inspections


Worksite hazard assessments and inspections are key activities in the prevention of accidents. Their purposes are to:

  1. identify existing and potential hazards
  2. increase awareness leading to the prevention of workplace accidents and illnesses
  3. ensure compliance with standards and regulations.

Requirements – Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

The WCB requires the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering to ensure that hazards to the safety and health of workers are identified and brought to management’s attention. It is management’s responsibility to ensure that the identified hazards are eliminated and, where this is not practicable, to ensure the hazards are controlled and that workers are protected from the hazards. To meet this requirement, the department conducts:

  • hazard assessments prior to all new projects, jobs or processes, or the introduction of new equipment or hazardous materials
  • regular workplace inspections.

The department will provide all necessary resources to ensure that hazard assessment and workplace inspections are effective. These include:

  • hazard recognition and safety inspection training for inspectors
  • time for inspectors to complete their duties
  • established communication channels between inspectors, local safety committee and senior management
  • quick action on recommended corrections.

All assessments and inspections are documented to demonstrate due diligence.

Hazard Assessments/Job Analyses

A hazard assessment or job safety analysis is recommended prior to the start of any new project, task or job. Its purpose is to anticipate, as much as is reasonable, any hazards or hazardous conditions that are inherent or could arise out of a new project, task or job. Once the hazards have been identified, the controls for eliminating or minimizing these hazards can then be determined and implemented. Hazard assessments should also be undertaken when major modifications are made to a project, task or job.

The preliminary hazard analysis checklist that is located below has been designed to anticipate any hazards that may be found in laboratory environments. A modified version of this form, or one designed to reflect the nature of the hazards found in other types of work, research and teaching environments may be used.

For assistance in developing a hazard assessment form or completing such an assessment, call Safety and Risk Services at 604-822-2029.

Ongoing supervisory and safety committee inspections are expected to identify hazards that developing during the new project, task or job.

Workplace Inspections

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Inspection Program comprises of four types of inspections that are structured as follows:

Informal Workplace Inspections

All employees are expected to maintain continual awareness of hazards in their work areas. This is accomplished by supervisors conducting regular walk-through of their areas of authority and by workers checking their work areas prior to commencing work. No formal inspection report is required; however, any detected hazards must be corrected immediately if the task is within the employee’s capabilities. If not, the hazard should be reported to the area supervisor or management for correction.

Formal Workplace Inspections

Work areas will be inspected monthly (preferably on the same day each month) by the area supervisor or a designate. Each supervisor in conjunction with the SPA will develop a site-specific inspection checklist. The inspection checklists will be completed for each inspection and each supervisor must regularly review and update his/her checklist as required. The completed reports shall be forwarded to the SPA on a quarterly basis for review. The SPA will provide summaries for the head and the Local Safety Committee to review. The area supervisor must ensure that corrective action is taken so that the hazard is eliminated or controlled.

Safety Committee Inspections

Safety Committee Inspections are workplace Inspections that are conducted by Local Safety Committee members (LSCM) at least annually. An Inspection Report is completed and copies are sent to the supervisor of the inspected area, the SPA and the Safety Committee for review. The area supervisor must ensure that corrective action is taken so that the hazard is eliminated or controlled.

Special Inspections

Special inspections take place immediately after a malfunction, accident or after a new work procedure or machinery is introduced. The area supervisor and a worker representative (preferably a safety committee member) conduct this type of inspection. An Inspection Report must be completed and distributed to the SPA and local safety committee for review. In addition, an Accident Investigation may be required for certain accidents (see Accident Investigation section of the manual). The area supervisor must ensure that any existing unsafe condition is effectively controlled before commencing an inspection or investigation.

The departmental supervisors and employees responsible for conducting inspections are:

Name and TitleAreaFrequency
All supervisorsLabs, shops or officesMonthly
LSC membersLabs and shopsAnnually

Preliminary Hazard Analysis Inspection Checklist

ItemTo be done
Obtain MSDS Sheets. Review the characteristics of all reactants, intermediates and product
What are the toxic characteristics? What protective measures are required?
Know first aid procedures for exposure to chemicals, burns, cuts, etc.
Will work require special precautions to prevent odour problems, air pollution, or sewer contamination?
How should wastes be safely handled?
Does equipment fit safely into the area allocated? Is isolation, shielding, pressure relief, ventilation, redundant controls, automatic shutdown, etc. required?
What would happen and what should be done if: Electric power fails? Cooling or heating system fails? Automatic controls or equipment air fails? Ventilation fails? Pressure gets out of hand? Water or air leaks into system? Material or reaction container falls and breaks or spills contents?
Have personnel who may be involved been notified of any special hazards?

Preliminary Hazard Analysis Inspection Checklist

Inspection Procedure

Inspection Frequency

All laboratories (teaching and research) with chemical, and/or biological, and/or radiation hazards as well as all machine shops and tool-user areas are considered high hazard areas. These work areas are inspected once per month in order to identify any imminent hazards or deficiencies.


  1. Review the previous Inspection Checklist to determine items that require special attention.
  2. Obtain a blank copy of the Inspection Checklist form for the area being inspected.


  1. Using the previous inspection checklist, ensure that previous deficiencies have been either corrected or controlled so as to minimize the hazards to employees Where the items have NOT been corrected or controlled, mark and highlight these items on the current Inspection Checklist.
  2. Using the Inspection Checklist as a guide, complete a thorough inspection of the area selected Do not only look for items on the checklist Also consider unsafe conditions and tasks, as well as violations of the WCB and internal requirements.
  3. As each item is inspected, indicate on the Inspection Checklist:
    • Yes if the item is safe
    • No if the item requires correction.
    • N/A if the item is not applicable to the area.
  4. For items that are checked NO, record the location, concern and corrective action required in the comment sections Use the back of the page if more space is required.


  1. Review the Inspection Checklist and ensure that the information recorded is complete.
  2. Correct any unsafe condition or act if possible On the Inspection Checklist, date and initial any item that has been corrected Make sure temporary safety measures are taken whenever permanent or complete correction will require additional time For items that require a major expenditure, write an explanation of the hazard and include the potential impact of an accident.
  3. Return the previous Inspection Checklist to where it was obtained.
  4. Send a copy of the current Inspection Checklist to the Safety and Technical Coordinator (safety@chbe.ubc.ca) for review and distribution If the inspection is a Supervisory Inspection, a copy of the checklist should also be sent to the Local Safety Committee for review. For Safety Committee Inspections, a copy of the checklist should be sent to supervisors of the areas inspected for review.
  5. Post a copy of the Inspection Checklist in the area inspected.

Inspection Follow-Up

  1. For all deficiencies, ensure corrective action or control has been taken.
  2. Be persistent and regularly follow-up on items that require corrective action consult the Safety Coordinator when necessary.
  3. Periodically review corrective actions or control methods.
  4. Ensure all completed checklists are properly posted, distributed and filed.

Inspection Checklists

The Inspections Checklists are all listed below in PDF format:

Shop Inspection Checklist

Workshop Inspection Checklist

Office Area Inspection Checklist

Monthly Office Room Safety Checklist