How to Conduct a Health and Safety Audit

28 August 2020

It is essential for your business to carry out health and safety compliance audits to maintain the wellbeing of your workforce.

When you carry out a workplace safety audit, you ensure that your health and safety procedures are up to standard and that you are compliant.

So let us look at what these audits are, why they are useful and what a health and safety audit company can do to help your business.

What is a health and safety audit?

It is an expert assessment of an organisation’s health and safety policies, systems and procedures are to ensure employees or visitors safety, health and welfare.

The audit findings will look to see that the business complies with the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005.

Primarily, audits enable you to protect employees and customers from harm. But ultimately a correctly conducted audit can also safeguard the very existence of the company. Violations can financially destroy a business.

Therefore, the chief purpose of the audit is to ensure compliance, but it is also a good chance for you to assess the efficiency of your processes.

An audit is: “A collection of independent information on the efficiency, effectiveness and a reliability of the total health & safety management system and drawing up plans for corrective action.”

What does an audit look like?

A good health and safety audit plan will look at a few key things:

  • Documentation: Ensuring you have the correct policies, safety statements, risk assessments, processes, documents and arrangements.
  • Interviews: Talking to managers, heads of department and other employees to understand day-to-day operations
  • Checking Policies: Ensuring policies are followed, such as risk assessments being undertaken

There will often be supporting documents, such as health and safety audit questionnaires.

Who can carry out an audit?

When thinking about carrying out the audit, you naturally would wonder who would carry out the process. There are two ways to carry out the audit:

  • External audit and inspection: Carried out by a competent external consultant
  • Internal audit and inspection: Carried out by an internal competent employee

Internal audit processes

It is possible to carry out an audit internally, though you must follow some strict rules and guidelines.

The one thing to remember when conducting any office audit is that you must have a “competent person” leading it. They must possess the correct health and safety training.

Alongside this, the person carrying out the audit must be independent of the department they are inspecting.

This makes it difficult for smaller businesses and teams. This is where external health and safety auditing services come into play.

External audit processes

This is where an auditing team or external consultant will come and examine your procedures. This can be part of health and safety outsourcing.

This has its benefits as instead of training someone or employing someone in your team, you can get an external team to audit when suits your business.

They will provide health and safety consultation based on their findings, as well as offering you a new health and safety program to follow.

Health and safety audit tools

To make audits more accessible and efficient, we provide our own health and safety software.

From risk assessments to accident reporting, BrightSafe gives you the tools to manage everything in one place.

This is the perfect support for an in-house team looking to audit the company's policies and procedures.

We include it with our consultation package, allowing you 24-hour health and safety advice alongside useful software.

Need our help?

If you need support in auditing your working environment,  call us any time day or night on 1890 252 923 or request a callback here.

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