An inspection is a visual check on the physical conditions and working arrangements – as a result it is less intrusive than an audit but focuses on practical arrangements. Inspection systems tend to be specifically developed for the individual business. Some employers engage SWSM to undertake regular inspections which enables the employer to ensure that standards are being maintained. However, because inspections often lead to conversations with employees they can be used as a means to provide informal consultation and safety briefings.

Inspections can follow an agreed format but for some organisations a blank sheet approach enables the inspection to retain its fresh perspective and to follow a random route – following the same route will often find (and miss) the same things.

As inspections tend to be more frequent then the reports will provide earlier identification of potential problems and recognition that remedies have been effective.