It’s time for a facility inspection.
Is your first reaction to panic? If the answer is yes, it makes sense, since a good inspector will point out all the problems in your facility which could signal costly upgrades or repairs. Their goal is to make every building safe and accessible to people of all abilities, so pretty common for citations to be issued with how much compliance requirements can change. Because of the high stakes surrounding these visits, there are quite a few misconceptions about inspections. Get to know the facts below (or skip straight to your free copy of our Inspections Checklist).
True or False: Audits and inspections are the same thing.
False. Audits help evaluate facility components at a moment in time so your team can adjust accordingly. For instance, a spare parts audit would include a technician manually inventorying what and how many parts are available. Conversely, inspections surface problems or shortcomings within a building, especially when it comes to occupant or employee safety.
True or False: ADA compliance is just a suggestion.
False. Newly constructed buildings designed for public use are required to meet standards from the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Older buildings should also be updated to meet these requirements, but sometimes building owners resist changing unless they receive government funding.
True or False: Inspectors always give citations.
False. Even though inspectors can give citations and fines, their main goal is to make sure a facility meets the right standards, so citations might not always be the consequence depending on the industry and the type of violation. Make sure you understand the issue brought to light by an inspector, and ask questions if something doesn’t make sense. Ultimately, inspectors are resources to make your building a safer place for occupants and employees.
True or False: City, county, state and federal governments can create their own codes and conduct inspections.
True. Sometimes local government bodies will pass their own building codes that businesses and even homeowners need to follow. If an inspector finds the owner non-compliant, they need to fix the problem.
True or False: Only healthcare facilities and food service departments deal with inspections.
False. All places the public accesses can be subject to an inspection, including schools, retail shops and office buildings. However, not all buildings are inspected at the same frequency or with the same urgency. There are so many buildings within cities that sometimes it takes a complaint before an inspector visits to enforce code.
True or False: Audits and inspections are too difficult to handle in-house.
False. While inviting the experts from outside groups will give you the most accurate results for your facility, it’s easy to get started assessing potential risks or violations with your own facility team. Download this free Inspection Checklist and evaluate each line item with your facilities staff as you go about your day. This can help surface problems before they escalate or give you peace of mind should a surprise inspection arise for your facility.
Facility inspections are a reality for facility managers, and the best way to approach them is with preparedness. For more tips, check out the Preventative Maintenance Toolkit, a free ebook full of resources to get you started on a proactive journey.