26-08-20

Q&A - Must an occupational physician carry out a company inspection?

The periodic company inspection is an essential part of the welfare policy. Who carries out this tour of the workplaces and how often?​

In short: a company tour does not have to be done by an occupational physician. A prevention advisor can also carry out a site inspection. The frequency of inspections depends on the sector, company size, and periodicity.

What is the company inspection and why is it necessary?

During a so-called company inspection or company tour, the External Occupational Health Services checks whether you, as an employer, satisfy the requirements imposed by the Welfare Act. Such an inspection is required by law and the prevention advisor pays attention to occupational safety, health, ergonomics, hygiene, and psychosocial aspects. It makes you, as an employer, extra attentive to the importance of well-being at work.

The prevention expert also checks whether all the legal documents (risk analyses, global prevention plan, annual action plan, identification form, risk post lists, etc.) are present in your company. After the inspection, you will receive a report with the findings and points for improvement. The expert also provides advice that you can use to further develop your prevention policy. In this way, the report of a first tour can be a good starting point for your risk analysis.

Who carries out the company inspection?

The company inspection is carried out by an external prevention advisor. The Welfare Act does not stipulate that this must be the occupational physician by definition. The company inspector has unlimited access to the workplace to carry out the risk analysis of the workstations. 

How often should a company inspection take place?

As an employer, you are obliged to hold regular company inspections. This can be done periodically or in response to a specific complaint or concrete problem. The frequency differs depending on the sector, company size, and periodicity.

  • every three years, if your employees are not (or not annually) subject to mandatory health surveillance.
  •  biennially or annually, if your employees are exposed to increased physical or mental strain or to psychosocial risks at work. Or in case of exposure to physical, chemical, or biological agents.

 

Who participates internally in the company tour?

The external prevention advisor is assisted during the inspection by your internal prevention advisor(s). If your organisation has a Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work, the internal regulations determine who does the rounds together with the prevention advisor.


Want to know more?​

Consult our information sheet about company inspections.


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