There’s always a lot riding on an industrial site visit, particularly if a company’s bottom line depends on the report you’ll deliver to corporate leaders after the visit. The easy part of your job will be getting plant employees to usher you around to the offices and work areas you’re required to evaluate. The hard part is making certain the tour you take and the presentations made give an accurate depiction of the points of interest you’re charged with investigating and evaluating. Once you’ve completed the evaluation, draft an industrial visit report to summarize your findings.
Know the Law
It is important to note that an industrial visit report is not necessarily a legal requirement, but rather consists of information compiled by some employers voluntarily to assess the company’s safety and risk management programs. It is not a requirement of the federal Occupations Safety and Health Act of 1970, known as OSHA. However, each state has its own requirements under OSHA so be sure to know the rules that apply to your organization. An industrial visit report can be helpful in presenting safety and risk management information to potential insurers and also helps an organization determine ways to improve employee safety measures.
Be Thorough and Take Notes
In order to write a high-quality industrial visit report it’s important to use several methods of information gathering: Carry a pad and pen or a digital device to make notes on topics you’re commissioned to gather. Track observations and gather handouts received from your host. Reflect on your visit and jot notes down at the end of the work day. This will be particularly important for industrial site visits that last several days.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek detailed answers, persisting when necessary for more information. Request supporting documents and keep track of specifics. Note the date or dates of your visit, the branch and site location, the number of employees and the square footage of the building. Attaching a map of the areas visited is also helpful. Note the various departments, the number of employees in each department and the names of those you speak with.
Know What to Include
Start the industrial visit report by stating the objectives of your visit and follow each with observations reached about whether the objective was met. Specific details related to the objectives are also helpful. Include as much detail as possible about inspections, work and safety practices, and the variety of other elements unique to the industrial site you are visiting. Safety equipment on site and other features that ensure the safety of employees (and customers, if applicable) should be noted.
Summarize Documentation of Safety Measures
Your report should include information related to the policies, departments and procedures responsible for ensuring safety. Review and include summaries of safety logs, which often include vehicle maintenance records, drug test verification and OSHA safety logs. Worker compensation information can also be included. It is helpful to prepare a glossary or index that tracks the attachments obtained during your visit that you need to share. Also draft a one-page executive summary that synthesizes the most important information in your report. Place it at the front of the presentation material so those requiring an overview of your visit can get what they need quickly from this page.
Your report should also cover conclusions and recommendations based on your observations during the visit. Be forthright, objective and succinct in making them. Use discretion when including sensitive information that came your way as a result of being on site. Your recommendations for enhanced security measures are perhaps one of the most important parts of the report. If a company is not providing regular safety training and updates on best practices, note how that can be incorporated into the company’s culture. Recommendations can be both proactive and reactive, especially when illustrating how the company and its employees should react in a workplace emergency. There should also be disaster preparedness efforts in place.
Be Your Own Editor
Once you’ve compiled your notes and written the report, make sure it meets the requirements established by company policy in terms of length and required content. If this has not been laid out for you, aim for a five-page report with supporting attachments. Make sure the report pages are numbered. Adding titles, bullet points and subheadings helps organize the content and enhance readability. Double-check the facts against your on-site notes. Of course, always run the spellchecker and then give the report a second read-through to catch any errors. And most importantly, submit the industrial site report promptly.
Katie Mills Giorgio is a freelance writer and editor living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She has been creating content for a variety of websites and publications for the past 15 years. You can learn more about her and her work at katiemillsgiorgio.com.