Conducting A Workplace Safety Audit

Once you have a safety program in place, you need to make sure it is working for you and your team. Let’s look at the different ways you can conduct workplace safety audits.

Compliance audit

This is the easiest type of audit of your safety program. This audit can be done by people inside or outside of your company. Laws may state that an official audit must be done by compliance officers outside of your program. Don’t let this stop you from conducting your own periodic audits. A compliance audit, even when done by your own in-house inspectors, enables you to see how your safety programs are working. When you see how your program is working, then you know where to make changes.

During a compliance audit, the auditor will check to make sure your team is following all safety procedures laid out by your program and government agencies. They will be checking to see if chemicals are labeled, fire exits are unobstructed, etc. If you are not in compliance, this gives you a chance to fix those issues, and re-educate your team if needed.

Program Audit

A program audit isn’t checking for compliance per se. This type of audit is checking to see if your program is designed correctly. These types of audits will make sure your program can actually inform your team about hazards in their workplace. It will check to see how you are educating your team on those hazards, as well as educating them on their safety. If your program isn’t well designed and doesn’t function as it should, this is a chance to correct it. This is also a way to make sure the designed safety program has actually been implemented.

Management system audit

This type of audit studies both your safety program and the execution of it at the same time. This is a great way to check to see where an underlying issue could be in the program. In essence, this is a program audit and compliance audit happening at the same time.

How To Handle A Safety Audit

Experiencing a safety audit is not a big deal. If you have a solid program and you complete your own periodic checks, you will be in great shape. Some companies have auditors come by unannounced. In some cases, your visit is scheduled. Preparation ensures you are in great shape regardless.

For an unannounced visit, show the auditor whatever parts of your facility they require entrance to. When they complete the report, have them review their report with you. Ask as many questions as you need.

For scheduled visits, do a walkthrough to make sure you are in compliance in as many areas as possible. Give the auditor access to everything they need. Make sure you see their final report and ask them to review it with you. This way, you understand how they came to their conclusions.

Audits are not a cause for alarm. Create a solid program, review it regularly, and you will hit any required benchmarks.

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