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Plant Safety Inspection

By A.K. Gupta

What we shall learn

Definition of plant safety inspection Objectives of PSI Difference from safety survey, safety tour and safety sampling Techniques of PSI Types of inspection Inspection procedure Benefits of PSI


Plant Safety Inspection can be defined as the monitoring function conducted in an organisation to locate and report hazards, which have the potential to cause accidents in the workplace.

Objective of PSI

Keeping the workplace safe by locating accident causes and taking corrective measures Controlling unsafe acts Removing unsafe conditions Maintaining product quality, operational efficiency and profitability

Plant Safety Inspection (PSI)

PSI is a method of discovering hazards and potential risks. Its basic aim is to identify and eliminate or minimise hazards in the jobs before accidents can occur. (Proactive approach) It is useful in accident prevention just as product inspection is in quality control. It is one of the oldest techniques of accident prevention.


Plant Safety Inspection (PSI)

Development of safety-related statutory regulations and inspections by Factory Inspectorate have given impetus to PSI. Not only unsafe conditions, but all unsafe acts should also be noted.

Since majority of accidents are caused by unsafe acts, it is necessary that all unsafe acts are noted in each PSI round.


Plant Safety Inspection (PSI)

It may not be possible to find all hazards in the entire plant in a single inspection. Hence regular periodic inspections are necessary. PSI helps in adopting safe practices with an ultimate aim of removing all unsafe acts and unsafe conditions.

Plant Safety Inspection (PSI)

How is PSI different from:

Safety survey, Safety tour, Safety sampling, and Safety audit?


What is the difference?

Safety Inspection: A scheduled inspection of
a plant or unit Safety Survey: A detailed examination of a narrow field Safety Tour: An unscheduled tour of a plant or unit carried out by an outsider (a person from a different department) such as the S.O. or other dept. manager or the Works Manager. Safety Sampling: A statistical method with specific application of a safety tour designed to measure the accident potential. (Contd.)


PSI vs. Safety Audit [RoSPA]

A safety inspection is generally limited to a detailed examination of the physical conditions within an organisation so that an assessment can be made of basic legal compliance or of meeting the specification. A health and safety audit is the collection of independent information pertaining to the efficiency and reliability of the organisation's total OH&S management system and involves drawing up plans for corrective action where necessary.

PSI vs. Safety Audit

Inspection is to examine closely any equipment or facility. It may be formal (with a plan and a checklist) or informal. Examples:

Inspection of a Fire Tender with a checklist for its operability, worthiness of its pump, fire monitor, etc. Inspection of the pressure vessel for finding any deformity, corrosion, thinning, etc.

Safety Audit is a process of evaluation that is based on standards, statutes and guidelines and it identifies the compliance and non-compliance based on standards and applicable statutes.

Technique of PSI

Take round of the plant. Record all unsafe practices and any deviations from statutory requirements, SOPs, SMPs and the companys HSE Policy. Find facts, not faults of persons. Record all findings and give recommendations. Faults and deviations should be corrected by the line manager or under his authority.

Making Physical or Mechanical Conditions Safe

This can be achieved by:

Selecting safer raw materials and processes Erecting plants according to standards Incorporating systems safety or built-in safety Machine guarding and fencing Instrumentation for safe operations

Interlocks, alarms and trips

Developing and implementing safe work procedures Maintaining plant integrity


Developing Safe Attitudes

Changing employee attitude is the key.

Education and training Managers/Supervisors setting examples Adherence to work procedures Encouraging use of required PPE Plant safety rounds or SAE rounds / STOP (Safety Tour and Observation Programme) Addressing OH&S-related problems promptly


Involving workers is useful

Plant managers, supervisors or safety officer carrying out PSI could make it more successful by consulting workers, thus

Enlisting their cooperation Getting useful suggestions from them Realising practical aspects of problems Making implementation of any changes or recommendations easy

Visible Safety Management

Regular plant safety inspections and prompt corrective measures go a long way in demonstrating management interest in and commitment to OH&S

High employee morale Maintaining employee interest in OH&S Encouraging employees to report hazards Safe employee attitude

Responsibility for PSI

Any competent plant personnel can carry out PSI. Safety is basically a line management responsibility (line function). Hence, the line management is mainly responsible for PSI. The responsibility for PSI should be shared by all concerned in the line function.

Responsibility for PSI (Contd.)

Within the plant, all personnel at various levels should clearly understand their responsibilities and functions to implement the management objectives through their individual and coordinated efforts. In addition, PSI can also be carried out by the staff functions like safety officer, maintenance engineer, etc. It is a good practice to involve both the line function and the staff function in PSI.

1. PSI by Line Function

By Senior Management:

Safety starts from top Set examples Interest in OH&S can be created and sustained at all levels if senior management makes it obvious that it is keen on safety Ensure that a safety policy is formulated and implemented effectively Ensure that all legal obligations are met Carry out PSI on a regular basis Regular PSI by senior management shows it is committed to OH&S Workers feel that management cares for them.

1. PSI by Line Function (Contd.)

By Line Supervisors:

As an integral part of his duty, each supervisor should look out for any U.A. or U.C. in his department. Besides continual inspection of this type, he should carry out PSI regularly He should also periodically carry out special inspections of the equipment in his department Report to senior management and take corrective actions promptly Ensure all procedures and safety rules are followed in his department


1. PSI by Line Function (Contd.)

By Workers:

Since workers are closely in the know of the plant, equipment and tools, etc., they can easily detect any hazard, unsafe condition, defect, or abnormality. They should be encouraged to report any hazard, defect, or abnormality to the management.

2. PSI by Staff Function

By Maintenance Staff:

They can make an effective contribution to OH&S by carrying out PSI and maintaining equipment in safe condition They can enhance safety by carrying out preventive and planned maintenance.

2. PSI by Staff Function (Contd.)

By Safety Officer:

S.O. can play a useful role in PSI He knows the statutory requirements better than others He will have a different perspective and be unbiased unlike people from the same department He may identify U.A. and U.C., which otherwise would have been overlooked by the plant staff.

Types of Inspection

There are 5 types of inspections:

Periodic Inspection (2) Intermittent Inspections (3) Continuous Inspections (4) Special Inspections (5) Statutory Inspections


Types of Inspection
(1) Periodic Inspection

It is well planned and carried out at regular intervals Periodicity of PSI would depend upon the need Generally, it is carried out by the line function, but it may be carried out by staff function as well. They may also include statutory inspections

Types of Inspection (Contd.)

(2) Intermittent Inspections

It is an unannounced PSI. It can be carried out by plant supervisors, safety committee, safety officer, etc.

Types of Inspection (Contd.)

(3) Continuous Inspections

Some selected employees spend their time in maintaining and serving certain equipment or operations

Instrument technicians Electricians

Example: Continuous inspection of tools in the toolroom of a workshop, or scaffold material Inspection of equipment/ pipelines on a continuous basis (Mech./Elec./Inst. Departments) Supervisors ensuring that subordinates follow all procedures and safety rules at all times.

Types of Inspection (Contd.)

(4) Special Inspections
Certain occasions or situations may require special inspections:

New building or plant New equipment or process Any plant change or modification Scaffolding Machine guards Illumination Lux Meter Noise Health and hygiene, etc.

Noise Meter

Types of Inspection (Contd.)

(5) Statutory Inspections
There are certain statutory requirements regarding inspection by a Government-approved Competent Person: Stability Certificate for buildings and structures Testing of pressure vessels/pressure plant Testing of RVs / Breather (P&V) valves Testing of lifting tackles, slings, hoists and lifts Testing of cranes Testing of fork-lift trucks (FLTs) Testing of gas cylinders

Inspection Procedure

Persons carrying out inspections should be competent and familiar with the process, equipment and operations, associated hazards and the precautions to be taken. They should also be familiar with the companys OH&S policy, the safety rules and all applicable statutes dealing with OH&S.

Inspection Procedure (Contd.)

An inspection should be

Systematic Comprehensive enough to cover all operations, equipment, etc.

This will ensure that no hazards have been overlooked Do not rely on memory; record all observations immediately.

Inspection Procedure (Contd.)

Checklists can be very useful.

Should be prepared by knowledgeable and experienced persons. It eliminates chances of forgetting or overlooking certain aspects of inspection.

Checklist is a means of transferring experience to less experienced persons.


Inspection Procedure (Contd.)

Prepare an inspection report and give recommendations, where necessary. Indicate responsibility and the target date for implementation against each recommendation. Report should be clear and concise. Distribute copy of the report to all concerned for implementation of recommendations. Have a periodic review and follow up the progress of implementation of approved recommendations.

Benefits of PSI

It is a proactive approach to safety Helps in early identification of hazards and accident prevention Avoids work interruptions caused by accidents Helps in reducing losses Improves employee morale Improves productivity and profitability.

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