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Preparation for a Safety Audit in 5 Steps

You may prepare for a successful safety audit by following these five steps.

Step one: Inform all managers and supervisors one week before the safety audit so that all necessary documents, records, and procedures are readily available when the audit begins.

Step two: The audit team should go over all previous audits and corrective action recommendations, as well as the legal and training requirements for the specific programs or areas.

Step three: Examine all program requirements from the company, as well as local, state, and federal levels. Also, familiarize yourself with the documentation, inspection, and training requirements.

Step four: Based on accident and inspection data, as well as input from various managers, determine the scope of the audit.

Step five: Determine the audit’s start and end dates and times.

Choosing the purpose of the safety audit

It is vital to collect data as part of your initial investigation and fact-finding while deciding the scope of your safety audit. The simplest and most efficient method to accomplish this is to give specific tasks to each member of your audit team. To ensure that they collect all relevant information, you must explicitly specify the region they will be auditing.

Six areas should be included in safety audits:

  1. Employee knowledge is used to assess employees’ comprehension of critical hazards and control measures while they are at work executing their tasks.

  2. Written program evaluation: comparing the company’s safety programs to WHS regulations for hazard identification, control, record keeping, and employee training.

  3. Program administration includes monitoring and managing specific program requirements.

  4. Record and document review: to ensure compliance and ongoing competency by checking for missing or incomplete documents or records.

  5. equipment, plants, and materials—to determine their suitability for hazard control for the specific program.

  6. General area tour-to identify risks and locations that require further safeguards.

Questions to contemplate

We’ve selected six topics that you should cover in your safety audit, and we recommend assigning them to specific audit team members. There are various questions the audit team members should ask for each of the six areas described above:

  1. Is there a current workplace health and safety policy in place? Do we have a plan in place to perform an annual review?

  2. Do we keep an up-to-date incident log? Are our staff using the incident register on a frequent and effective basis?

  3. Do we have a procedure in place for informing our staff about WHS issues?

  4. Do we have a health and safety representative assigned to each location?

  5. Is our training for all employees and health and safety representatives up to date?

  6. Are we successfully recording all WHS issues in meeting minutes and storing them in an easily accessible and controlled location?

  7. Is our first aid kit well supplied, and does everyone know how to get to it and what to do if some of the materials are used?

  8. Is all of our signage current and properly posted for any hazards?

  9. Is all of the needed PPE available, in good shape and up to date, and easily accessible to employees?

  10. If previous events happened, have we investigated and documented the solutions to guarantee that they do not occur again?

  11. Do we frequently assess our employees’ WHS behavior in performance reviews?

  12. Do we consult with industry on our company’s WHS standards on a regular basis?

  13. Do our new employee inductions, including work health and safety processes, incorporate mental health guidance?

The lists above will get you started. However, there are likely to be additional questions you need to ask that are specific to your organization, especially if you perform high-risk work.


It is vital that you do an annual safety audit of your business activities. To help you through the process, the first step is to grasp the underlying questions behind every safety audit. Following that, you must form an unbiased, balanced team. The scope of the safety audit must then be determined.

A review of your programs to ensure they meet your WHS obligations and are administered correctly; a review of your documentation that proves compliance and competence; a review of your equipment, plant, and materials; and a general walkthrough to spot any hazards that may have been missed should all be covered in the safety audit.

You should urge your audit team to ask probing questions as they progress through each department throughout the safety audit to assist in uncovering any gaps that need to be addressed.