What does "safety in the workplace" mean for the home inspector?
Home inspection safety starts with knowledge and then extends to the application of that knowledge to what you do. Safety requires diligence, especially as there is no governmental agency or workplace watchdog to ensure that inspectors are properly protected.
Recognizing Safety Concerns
Most importantly, knowledge about safety requires the ability to recognize potentially unsafe situations, and the courage to resist performing those inspection tasks. After all, a life is worth more than the amount charged to perform an inspection.
Being Responsible for Safety
Because there is no governmental oversight agency that regulates what inspectors do on the job, safety is a matter of personal responsibility. Successfully completing a course on inspection safety is a good start, but it is even more important to implement what you learn. Simply knowing that dangerous conditions exist is not enough. Appropriate action needs to be taken. This can mean making sure that you have the proper equipment available and ensuring that it's in good condition and taking the time to learn to use it properly. It also means learning where to look, knowing what to look for, and using good judgment before you act.
Home Inspectors Must Be Vigilant About Safety
Potentially hazardous conditions are not always obvious, so inspectors should remember to be vigilant about certain dangers, depending on the circumstances, home conditions, and even geography and region. Inspectors must take responsibility for learning about the hazardous conditions unique to the areas where they work.
Inspectors Must Be Aware of Their Own Limitations
Inspectors also need to be realistic about their physical abilities. The ability to perform certain tasks varies from person to person. A task such as walking a roof or entering a crawlspace that might be easily accomplished by one inspector may be difficult for another. Most of us are aware of our own limitations, which may change over time. For each of us who performs home inspections, knowing our limitations and respecting them will help keep us all safe.