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, there’s a huge reward! You’ll have 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. Many paper safety audit checklists are hidden permanently in filing cabinets, making them of little value.
Unless there’s 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.
Worker buy-in helps get rid of the “them and us” culture and creates a unified approach to a safe workplace.
Are you sure you’ll never have a workplace incident?
No business owner can ever be sure that he won’t need to prove his health and safety system in a courtroom.
Every piece of the health and safety 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 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.
Furthermore, they’ll need re-writing every time a change takes place. For example, if a job routine is changed or a piece of equipment updated, a new checklist is necessary.
What happens when the staff responsible for writing these checklists moves on? Often these lists need re-writing again and more valuable time is lost.
Managing the tasks required to fix problems becomes more difficult with a paper system of auditing. For instance, was the completion of those tasks satisfactory? Who completed them and when?
There is a smarter way to manage safety audits!