Why do you need health and safety audits?
There are three main reasons why a regular safety audit makes good sense;
- It shows your commitment to comply with health and safety legislation. This commitment will be an advantage should you ever find yourself defending your health and safety system in court.
- It finds areas within the workplace that need improvement
- It can be expanded to improve the production process. For example, an audit may highlight a better way of operating a machine.
Form a worker’s point of view the perception of a safety audit is either;
- Management spying on workers, which is detrimental to the working of the entire health and safety system.
- A genuine attempt to make workers safe. If your workers see the safety audit this way, the reward will be the most valuable item a health and safety system can have. Worker Buy-in!
How you carry out your audits will determine which of these two results will happen. For instance, it’s not helpful to workers to have management running around the workplace with paper safety audit checklists. Also, the effectiveness of a paper safety audit checklist is questionable. Deep storage in a filing cabinet is where many safety audit checklists end up, making their value questionable.
Unless time is spent in diligent follow through, it could be easy to prove the safety audit was not relevant.
Worker buy-in is the most valuable inclusion you can have in a health and safety system. If used wisely, it can dramatically cut down management time and increase results.
Remember, no business owner can ever be certain that he won’t need to prove his health and safety system in a courtroom. Every piece of the puzzle, including safety audits, must be in place. Therefore, your intention to provide the safest possible workplace and comply with the law is plain and obvious.
How to conduct a safety audit
Often the mention of a Safety Audit gives visions of masses of paperwork, phone calls and lost work production.
It may seem simple to have a stack of paper safety audit checklists. But is it?
These checklists are of little use if they don’t have a way of managing areas that need improvement. They’re no good hiding in a filing cabinet somewhere.
They’re also going to need to need to be rewritten every time a change takes place. For example, if a routine is changed or equipment is updated a new checklist is needed.
What happens when the staff responsible for writing these checklists moves on? Often these lists need rewriting again and more valuable time is lost.
Managing the tasks required to fix problems becomes more difficult. For instance, was the completion of those tasks satisfactory? Who completed them and when?
There is a smarter way to manage safety audits!
What Makes A Good Health and Safety Audit?
In short, Simplicity!
The Simple WorkSafe application contains a suite of digital tools to manage all aspects of a health and safety system. These tools include safety audits.
Let’s take a look at how to conduct a safety audit using Simple WorkSafe.
An unlimited number of templates
The first advantage of the Simple WorkSafe Audit tool is the templates.
An unlimited number of templates can be pre-built. Templates can relate to any type of safety audit.
They can be built to audit the health and safety system. For example, your Safe Operating Procedures can be audited to ensure they are up to date. Your Training can be audited to ensure new it’s relevant to your current work tasks. Have you done a Risk Assessment on each job or asset that’s operated by workers? How about your Hazard and Incident Reporting and management?
Safety audits can also be carried out on Locations such as workshops or chemical stores. Jobs can be audited for both safety and productivity. Assets such as machinery, plant, equipment or tools need to be audited for servicing and safety. Chemicals are audited for safety data sheets and other reasons and even workers can be audited for performance, drug and alcohol use and compliance.
When it’s time to perform an audit all that needs doing is to load a template and carry out the physical check of each item in the audit.
Templates are very easy to change as your work processes change. Spending time to create the templates will free up countless hours over the life of your business.