Managers and staff frequently cringe when they hear the words “safety audit.” Although the process may appear intimidating, the main advantage of performing audits on a regular basis is that it aids in the continual improvement of the organization’s health and safety practices.
In this post, we will discuss the fundamental questions that underpin any safety audit, what you must do to prepare, and how to select an unbiased, balanced team. We assist you in determining the scope of the safety audit and provide a list of questions that your team should ask during the audit.
The goal of a safety audit is to verify compliance with work health and safety obligations concerning workplace and employee safety. The first order of business is to provide evidence of compliance. However, safety audits can also help you to:
Identify workplace risks as well as their severity and if the highest levels of controls are in place.
Identify the advantages and disadvantages of safety processes and procedures.
Show where and how recommended improvements should be made.
Ascertain that enough resources are available to manage workplace health and safety and that those resources are used efficiently and effectively.
Check to see if the safety processes and procedures are legally compliant.
Hazards should be removed or effectively controlled to eliminate harmful activities.
Internal safety audits should be performed at least once a year to help you improve your processes over time and identify areas that require additional attention.
When preparing and planning your safety audit, keep the following four questions in mind:
Is your safety system compliant with all regulatory and best industry practices?
Are the prerequisites being met?
Is there evidence of compliance?
How effective is staff training—can and do they adopt specific safe behaviors to address workplace hazards?
A safety audit is only as good as the people who undertake it. You must assemble a team with the necessary knowledge and experience to perform your organization’s operations safely.Although many businesses prefer to conduct audits in-house, some use outside consultants to ensure such expertise.
If you choose to conduct a safety audit in-house, we recommend assembling a team of 3-5 personnel from several departments. Team members should not audit their own departments to maintain neutrality and limit bias. A new set of eyes is better at recognizing problems that a supervisor or manager may overlook.