Inspection Checklists & Forms

machine guarding safety inspection

Published 8 Jun 2022

An inspection checklist (also referred to as an inspection sheet) is an essential tool for inspectors and professionals across multiple industries. Inspection checklists help assess the compliance of a process, procedure, equipment, or facility with industry, governmental, or internal standards. Using an inspection checklist ensures that the object of inspection goes through a detailed and documented evaluation. Once the inspection has been completed with the help of a checklist, the object of inspection can then be endorsed for its intended use. Aside from compliance, inspection checklists are also used to validate the safety, quality, and/or efficiency of business operations.

What is the Purpose of Inspection Checklists?

Inspection checklists are used by professional inspectors primarily as a guide for performing appropriate assessments to determine if what is being inspected—whether that is a product, equipment, facility, or service—meets a certain quality or is performing according to customer expectations or specifications set by regulations or industry standards. When used correctly, inspection checklists help with the following:

  • Keeping people organized and focused on the task at hand
  • Promoting accountability as inspection results serve as written record
  • Boosting employee morale knowing that facilities and equipment are inspected for compliance with regulations and industry standards
  • Providing clear documentation to regulatory bodies about the inspections performed

What is the Importance of Inspection Checklists?

Inspection checklists are important because they are vital to keeping a product, equipment, facility, or property compliant with existing safety regulations and up to par with industry quality standards. Checks guided with the use of inspection checklists help businesses from different industries ensure that the products and services their customers receive will meet or exceed expectations. Further, regular inspections conducted using inspection checklists provide more benefits to organizations in the form of the following:


Regular inspections help define the line between a safe working environment and one that is beset with hazards.


Equipment and facility abuse is discouraged by regular inspections. Using inspection records, maintenance managers can strengthen maintenance programs as inspections help them identify the best frequency of schedules for the upkeep of assets.


No company is looking forward to appearing on the news when something wrong happens. Through regular inspections, companies are able to immediately rectify issues before they become major.

Business Costs

Periodic inspections help prevent workplace injuries, which can result in costly lost work time and compensation claims.

What to Include in your Inspection Checklist?

The content of your inspection checklist will depend on its purpose. The questions or items stated in the checklist are tailor-fitted to the focus of the inspection and are also influenced by the standards and requirements administered by either the organization or governing bodies.

Here are a few question examples you can include in your inspection checklist:

General Information

No matter the kind of inspection checklist you create, it is important that you include all the basic information that everyone can circle back to when needed. Some important information include:

  • What is the name of the inspector?
  • What is the date of the inspection?
  • Where is the location of the inspection?
  • What’s the name of the company to be inspected?
  • What is the name of the /team/project/business unit to be inspected?

General Work Environment

Most inspection checklists contain safety-related items to ensure a safe working environment for employees and for the place of business. Some work environment questions can be along the lines of:

  • Are all worksites sanitary, orderly, and free of clutter?
  • Are work surfaces kept dry and slip-resistant?
  • Is combustible waste removed from the worksite properly and stored safely?
  • Are all work areas adequately illuminated?
  • Are all confined spaces compliant with 29 CFR 1910.146 (permit for confined spaces)?

Machineries and Equipment

Workplaces have their own set of machines and equipment used on a daily basis. To ensure their safe operation, consider asking the questions below:

  • Are the employees properly trained on safe methods of machine/equipment operation?
  • Is there a regular inspection of machinery and equipment?
  • Are all machinery and equipment properly maintained?
  • Are all emergency stop buttons easily identifiable?
  • Are machine guards secure and accessible?

What is Inspection Software?

Inspection software is a digital platform designed for examining daily tasks and issues. It aims to simplify and improve the way working teams do inspections. Organizations use inspection software mostly for managing safety, quality, and overall operations. Working teams are able to create and share forms or checklists across the organization using inspection software.

Unlike old and traditional paper-based systems, inspection software allows for seamless data visualization. By seeing the bigger picture, inspection software users are able to spot problems early and take the necessary steps to address them before they affect revenue. Beyond loss prevention, inspection software helps companies analyze the effectiveness of their processes through automatically generated reports.

How Different Industries Use Inspection Software

Inspection software is used across different industries to get the job done. Some common industries that are taking advantage of inspection software’s capabilities are manufacturing, construction, automotive, facility management, and food. These five major industries achieve optimal performance through regular inspections that are made more efficient with the use of inspection software.

  • Manufacturing – The manufacturing industry prepares for the future of work by using inspection software as a digital tool. In 2018, there were 12.8 million manufacturing employees in the United States. However, the widening skills gap could leave 2.4 million positions vacant. Manufacturers can close the skills gap and prepare their employees for the future of work by training them to use inspection software. By using inspection software as the bridge between people and technology, manufacturers can keep and hire more workers while still adapting to changes in the industry. Aside from closing the skills gap, manufacturers must also adapt to industry changes in design, process, and materials. Inspection software will help them achieve this through scheduled recurring inspections for efficient product verification. 
  • Automotive – With almost 92 million units produced in 2019, the automotive industry is projected to sell 62 million units in 2020. Though China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of cars, almost all countries require regular vehicle inspections. Through ready-made inspection templates, inspection software can help the automotive industry comply with each country’s requirements. Statistics from Traficom report that 20% of 3-15 year old cars failed such inspections in 2018. With inspection software, the automotive industry can use insights and analytics in improving overall quality control
  • Facility Management – According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), structural fires caused $12.3 billion worth of property damage in 2019. With a global market size of $1.15 trillion trillion, the facility management industry maintains the safety of their buildings by using inspection software to conduct convenient mobile inspections. Aside from maintenance, facility managers also arrange building inspections requested by municipalities and coordinate with specialized inspectors. Inspection software minimizes miscommunication between them by integrating both roles into a single interactive system.
  • Food – With the current emphasis on disease prevention, food safety has never been more important. Though world food retail sales generate over 4 trillion dollars per year, the World Health Organization estimates that 600 million people fall ill after eating contaminated food. Restaurants can improve their risk analysis by using sensor-connected inspection software to collect critical information on hazards. Inspection software can also help the food industry respond to evolving COVID-19 restrictions through customizable inspection forms.
  • Construction – Fire and safety issues, plumbing problems, and pest infestation are just some of the problems the construction industry faces. According to a survey from Porch, 86% of buyers who used a home inspection said that their inspector identified at least one problem that should be addressed. Inspection software helps inspectors raise issues immediately with live data and collaborate with contractors in creating corrective actions.

Different Types of Safety Inspections

Common safety inspections include:

SafetyCulture staff writer

Carlo Sheen Escano

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.