Yukon to post public health inspections online
Making inspection records public has a positive effect on compliance, official says
Yukon health inspectors are replacing their paper notebooks with tablets and doing electronic reports instead of hand-written.
About a year from now, Yukoners should be able to see the results of their inspections online.
They'll include inspections done at restaurants, tattoo parlours and grocery stores, as well as some community centres and day cares.
Environmental health services manager Benton Foster says electronic reporting will make it easier for clients to follow the inspection process.
“It’s really just to give clients a sense of what inspectors will be looking for when they’re coming into the facility,” says
Inspectors will begin using tablets to record their results in a few weeks.
Foster says the health department will spend the next year or so fixing any glitches before opening up the online results to the public.
Until then, Yukoners will have to continue using access to information applications to get the reports.
“We do get quite a few inquiries about access to those inspection reports,” Foster says. “I think the awareness overall across the country of public health inspection results has gone up.”
Foster says there hasn't been much resistance to putting the results online; most clients are following the rules and have nothing to hide.
He says research indicates public scrutiny makes a difference.
“Most studies find that it has a positive effect on compliance rates, at least for the first few years, and then it's important to ensure the public continues to be aware of the availability of these reports.”
Public health inspection reports are already posted online for the public in a number of jurisdictions, including British Columbia.