Safety Checklists for Construction – Examples & Templates

By The GoCanvas Team on May 13, 2021
Tags: Construction, Safety

Construction safety helmets hanging on the wall


Worker safety is a top priority for everyone in the construction industry. It’s in the best interest of workers and employers to comply with all regulations set by OSHA and to follow all of the best practices for safety in the workplace. 

Having a robust safety program is good for workers, helping to limit accidents and incidents, and strengthening employee trust in the company. Companies with robust safety management programs benefit from satisfied workers, lowered costs, and greater productivity and efficiency.

Safety checklists are widely used in the construction industry as a way to collect important information about different components of the job and tasks at hand. A simple checklist can be used by workers on the job to determine potential hazards and mitigate risk. 


3 Types of Safety Checklists in Construction

A safety checklist is an essential tool used in safety management programs and there is a wide range of use cases for safety checklists. This article reviews some of the most commonly used safety checklists and templates that construction firms and contractors can use to get started for free. 


Safety Inspection Checklists – The 10 Most Common OSHA Hazards

OSHA shares data with companies that details the top 10 OSHA violations each year.  This data is shared to create awareness around the top preventable hazards in the workplace, so employers know where to focus their efforts to address the most common health and safety issues. 

In 2020, the top violations included Fall Protection, Hazard Communication, Respiratory Protection, Scaffolding, Ladders, Lockout/Tagout, Powered Industrial Trucks, Eye and Face, and Machine Guarding.

Construction companies routinely use safety inspection checklists to monitor these problem areas, with a safety inspection checklist designed specifically for each of the hazards. This type of safety checklist is designed around one specific hazard and the corresponding list of items to review. 

In general, safety inspection checklists are meant as a way to evaluate tools, personal protective equipment, fire extinguishers, forklifts, work areas, and other elements for potential hazards or mitigators for hazards. These can be checked as frequently as deemed necessary, sometimes on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis.


Examples and Templates for Safety Inspection Checklists:


Safety Audit Checklist

A safety audit checklist is similar to safety inspection checklists listed in the previous section, but instead of examining one component of safety, the safety audit checklist looks typically examines the entire jobsite. The safety audit checklist is a comprehensive audit of the entire jobsite and the inspection looks wholistically for hazards in the workplace. This type of checklist is used to understand all of the safety and health hazards so that they can be addressed before an accident or incident happens. Construction firms should update their safety audit checklists regularly to ensure that they are keeping up with changing OSHA standards in the workplace. This type of safety audit or jobsite inspection checklist may only be used on occasion in the workplace, in order to assess the overall safety of a jobsite. 


Example and Template:



Typically the safety audit checklist will include questions in many areas across the entire jobsite,  including: 

PPE, Housekeeping and Sanitation, Trenching & Excavations, Electrical Installations, Tools, Ladders, Scaffolding, Fall Protection, Steel Erection, Precast Concrete Erection, Roofing Work, Aerial Lifts / Scissor Lifts, Cranes, hoists, and derricks, Rigging, Heavy Equipment, Fire Prevention, Flammable Gases, Welding and Cutting, Spray Painting / Fire Proofing Operations, Air Compressors, Confined Space, Lockout / Tagout, Concrete, Masonry, Fueling Area, and more.


COVID-19 Workplace Safety and Health Checklists

Many workplaces have started to use the COVID-19 workplace safety and health checklist to ensure measures are in place to protect workers from exposure to and infection with COVID-19. 

In the construction industry, workers have had to continue working as an essential business and this means that workplaces need to take the appropriate precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

The workplace safety and health checklist is designed to help job sites stay in compliance with new safety regulations and restrictions that stemmed from the pandemic. 

Example and Template:


covid-19 safety checklist template example


Health screening apps and workplace safety apps will continue to be needed on job sites in the near term to keep workers safe and productive.


Going Digital With Safety Checklists

There are many digital tools and apps that can help to formalize your safety program, rather than managing this process on paper forms. The common challenges with paper forms include missing or lost papers, illegible writing, and time-consuming data entry. Using a digital platform like GoCanvas for managing your safety programs will enable your business to gain greater visibility into safety across job sites and make the process seamless for workers to access the information from anywhere. The rise of mobile devices has given construction companies the opportunity to leverage apps and forms in the field to both collect and share key safety information with workers. 

You can learn more about the benefits of a safety management program managed with mobile apps and forms in a recent article published here. You can also search the GoCanvas App Store for more examples and templates to use for all your safety checklists and safety audit checklists. Sign up for a free trial and see how easy it can be to use our no-code platform for mobile apps and forms for construction.