In this step we look at the “Inspection process”. Here the actual inspection work is done. This step includes the preparation, execution and reporting of the inspection work.
Type of inspection, staff and (safety) equipment
The decision on the type of inspection and staff and equipment needed can either be decided on forehand, during the planning stage, or during the preparation of the inspections. Although the first option is recommended (the time needed for an inspection is very much connected to the type of inspection) the latter could also be necessary because of changing circumstances. In both cases the type of inspection will often be decided by the head of inspectors. He or she should also have an overview of the available and needed resources (human and equipment). See factsheet 3.09 on preparation inspection for the considerations that could be taken into account when deciding on the type of inspection, the staff and equipment needed.
Gathering information and data
The inspection team should be fully prepared for the inspection. It should therefore gather all the relevant information and data that is available. The preliminary analysis of the collected documentation must enable a better understanding of the production cycle of the plant and its past and current critical points. Furthermore, the analysis of the technical data acquired during the desk study allows to better prepare the checklist and Inspection Agenda that will be used during the site visit. See factsheet 3.09 on preparation inspection for the type of information sources that can help you to prepare your inspection.
Now a days we see more and more electronic tools that can help the inspector to perform a good inspection. It will reduce the time necessary for preparation and make sure we will not forget important aspects to inspect. Although we strongly believe this is the way forward we still need to understand how a good checklist and/or questionnaire is composed. In factsheet 3.09 on preparation of inspection you can find some issues you can take into account.
Announce an inspection?
In some cases, from a practical point of view, it is worth announcing inspections shortly beforehand it is conducted. These cases are:
- when an inspector has to interview a specific person. This way they are sure the proper person will be available at their convenience;
- when an inspector wants to inspect the (technical) installation. Changes to technical installation will probably not be made that short in advance (because of the investment);
- while inspecting a single-person company;
- when there is a need to have some documentation be prepared for the inspector and this will result in a more efficient inspection.
In all other cases it could be argued that (if national legislation allows) unannounced inspections could be preferred.