Most of us have difficulty remembering a list of information that is longer than 5 to 7 items. This is quite worrying for us as managers of businesses that rely on our staff to carry out many tasks, systems, procedures and jobs to a high standard, so for many of us, this is where the check list comes in handy.

Checklists have become more popular in recent years after Atul Gawande published his book "The Checklist Manifesto". That book discussed how checklists are making hospital visits safer with a safe surgery checklist, and how architects and anyone building or working on anything complicated needs to have an inspection checklist or testing checklist.

It is accepted that check-lists can help us carry out many tasks, but they can also be used to show compliance in claims of negligence by providing evidence of a risk management system being in place.

However, excessive dependence of checklists may hinder performance when dealing with time-critical situations such as a medical emergency on a high ropes course or whilst out on a hill-walking day far from help. Checklists should not be used as a replacement for common sense. Intensive training including rote-learning of checklists can help integrate use of checklists with more adaptive and flexible problem solving techniques.

SHALL I USE A CHECK LIST OR NOT?

Papertrail accepts that check-lists, used in the right place at the right time with the right amount of training and experience should make our businesses safer. If you feel the same then please feel free to use some of the equipment inspection check-lists we have put together.

These check-lists are not exhaustive and we are sure that they can be improved upon or adapted to suit your particular needs - so please feel free do so.

If you think you have some great check-lists that others may benefit from, please send them to us and we will add them.

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