Safer Inspections: The Impact of Open-Ended Questions

Keeping our workplace safe is super important! One way we keep our workplace safe is through conducting top-notch workplace safety inspections to check for any possible hazards and make sure everything is A-OK. But did you know that talking about safety is just as important as looking around?

Why Conversations about Safety Matter:

Worker Engagement: Workers who feel valued help to maintain a safe workplace.

Workplace Culture: Good culture means working safely plus behaving safely. By listening to workers, you can measure the quality of your safety program.

Continuous Improvement: Talking with workers helps all business operations.

Open-Ended Questions to Ask:

To get good answers during safety checks, it’s important to ask the right questions. Instead of questions with just “yes” or “no” answers, asking open-ended questions, where people can share more, helps us understand things better.


Here are examples of open-ended questions to incorporate into safety conversations:

1. “What safety concerns and things going well have you noticed?”
➡️Invite workers to share specific observations that you may have overlooked.

2. “Tell me about any near misses or incidents you know about?”
➡️Discover missed incident reports or explore ones that have occurred more.

3. “What suggestions do you have for improvement?”
➡️Invite workers to ‘participate’ in developing safety protocols.

4. “What do you think is the hardest part of keeping the workplace safe?”
➡️Seeing challenges through your worker’s eyes helps to remove barriers.


Talking during safety inspections is not just a boring task – it’s like a superpower that makes our workplace even safer. So, let’s chat, share ideas, and make our workplace the safest place to be! Service Hospitality has created a working template for your organization to build on; instead of “Do you have any safety concerns?” try…

Download Now: Safety Inspection Conversation Questions

For assistance, or if you have questions or comments, please Get in Touch with Service Hospitality.

Learn more about workplace inspections in our upcoming Occupational Health and Safety Committee Training (OHC Part 2 – Workplace Inspections).

How often does your organization conduct inspections?  Who conducts the inspections?  Effective health and safety inspections are one of the most important incident prevention tools in an organization’s health and safety program.

In this online course, we will cover the following:

  • How to prepare, conduct and evaluate a workplace inspection
  • Types of inspections, covering both formal and informal
  • Who should be involved, and in what capacity, for workplace inspections

Recommended for:
All Key Staff who will be overseeing and/or carrying out Workplace Inspections, Managers, Supervisors, Human Resources, Health & Safety Committee Members and anyone who wants to increase their injury prevention knowledge

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