Safety Checklist Definition; Importance, Types & Samples

What is a Safety Checklist?

Safety checklist is a pre-organized documents used during safety inspections/Audit for the identification of potential hazards in specific work area, job process, etc. It could be paper-based or digitized forms used to inspect and identify workplace hazards that can cause potential harm to people, processes, and the environment.

There are wide range of checklists for the identification of potential hazards in a variety of industries and applications.

Safety Checklist involves ticking check boxes; this in turn will guide in the initiation of a series of preventive controls to eliminate the hazard and also helps in record-keeping during safety inspection/audit.

Importance of Safety Checklist

  • Checklists makes inspections/audits easy and fast: Safety-audit checklists allow you to conduct a much-easier examination of all potential hazards in the workplace.
  • With checklists in place, personnel won’t omit specific important tasks: Omitting key items and steps during inspections/audits is prevented with Safety Checklist as it keeps people involved focused.
  • Checklists keep personnel organized: This structure help personnel stay organized in conducting the inspection/audit and planning their time.
  • Checklists provide accountability: It helps with planning, scheduling, sharing results, and analyzing the audit data – means that there’s always a record of which actions were performed. Due to this, your personnel will have a greater sense of accountability than if there was no way to prove slipshod auditing.
  • Checklists give personnel a sense of security: Because checklists are powerful tools to ensure safety audits are performed thoroughly, most personnel working with the assets and processes involved will feel confident in their safety. This confidence typically leads to greater worker satisfaction, which in turn usually leads to greater productivity.


Each workplace and industry has its own set of hazards, and health and safety professionals must be able to identify which checklists are appropriate to specific workplaces and processes in order to ensure that full compliance with safety standards is achieved in the workplace. Safety checklists provide a tool for determining possible workplace hazards and should be completed during inspections, reported on, used as a basis for safety recommendations and filed for record-keeping purposes.


Types of Safety Checklists

Safety Checklist

As earlier mentioned, they are designed based on objective and need; this means one checklist cannot be used just for any kind of inspection or audit.

N/B: Safety Checklist are –

  • Industry Specific
  • Area Specific
  • Process Specific
  • Job Specific, etc.

Here are some types of safety checklist you could come across:

  • Safety Inspection Checklist: A Safety Inspection Checklist consists of numerous safety categories that are applicable to a variety of enterprises and applications.
  • Construction Safety Inspection Checklist: A Construction Site Safety Inspection Checklist is structured to record hazards that are prevalent in the construction industry.
  • Workplace Inspection Checklist: A workplace inspection checklist is used to examine and highlight the hazards that are exposed to workers in an office set-up.
  • Daily Safety Inspection Checklist: A daily safety inspection checklist enables to evaluate key workplace health and safety issues that have the potential of cropping up on a daily basis.
  • Site Safety Inspection Checklist: A site safety inspection checklist is ideal for site walkthrough evaluations.
  • Risk Inspection Checklist: A risk inspection checklist is a key tool to highlight risks associated with a hazard.
  • Machinery Safety Inspection Checklist: Machinery Safety Inspection Checklist is used to assess and determine the overall safety status of machinery and equipment in your industry.
  • Radiation safety checklist
  • Explosion safety checklist
  • Fall protection checklist
  • Electrical safety work practices checklist
  • Fixed stars and ladders checklist
  • Occupational injury and illness reporting checklist

This list is not conclusive.


Read Also: Emergency action plan (PDF Template & Checklist)

How to develop a checklist

The best checklist for your workplace is one that has been developed for your specific needs. Whatever the format of the checklist, provide space for the inspectors’ signatures and the date.

A good checklist should take into consideration;

1. EnvironmentDust, gases, fumes, sprays, lighting, noise, ventilation
2. BuildingsWindows, doors, floors, stairs, roofs, walls, elevators
3. ContainersScrap bins, disposal receptacles, barrels, carboys, gas cylinders, solvent cans
4. ElectricalSwitches, cables, outlets, connectors, grounding, connections, breakers
5. Fire protection equipmentExtinguishers, hoses, hydrants, sprinkler alarm systems, access to equipment
6. Hand toolsWrenches, screwdrivers, saws, power tools, explosive actuated tools
7. Hazardous productsFlammable, explosive, oxidizing, gases under pressure, corrosive, toxic/health hazards, biohazardous infectious, environmental
8. Materials handlingConveyors, cranes, hoists, hoppers, carts, dollies, bins, etc.
9. Personal protective equipmentHard hats, safety glasses, respirators, safety footwear, gloves, etc.
10. Pressurized equipmentBoilers, vats, tanks, piping, hoses, couplings, valves, hydraulics, etc.
11. Production equipmentMills, shapers, cutters, borers, presses, lathes, robotics, etc.
12. Personnel support equipmentLadders, scaffolds, platforms, catwalks, staging
13. Powered equipmentEngines, electrical motors, compressor equipment
14. Storage facilitiesRacks, bins, shelves, cabinets, closets, yards, floors
15. Walkways and roadwaysAisles, ramps, docks, vehicle ways
16. Protective guardsGear covers, pulleys, belt screens, work station, guards, railings, drives, chains
17. Safety devicesValves, emergency switches, cutoffs, warning systems, limit switches, mirrors, sirens, signs
18. ControlsStart-up switches, steering mechanisms, speed controls, manipulating controls
19. Lifting componentsHandles, eye-bolts, lifting lugs, hooks, chains, ropes, slings
20. Hygiene and first aid facilitiesDrinking fountains, washrooms, safety showers, eyewash fountains, first aid supplies, contact list for first aid responders, etc.
21. Psychosocial hazardsDiscussion with or observation of employees who may mention work scheduling issues, workload (pace of work/too much/too little), hours of work, fatigue, issues that interrupt concentration, poor communication, conflicting demands, working in conflict with others, working in social isolation, or working alone



The checklist is not a static document as it can be reviewed when need arises; you can add to it or take away from it.