If you’re committed to safety in your workplace, it’s important to constantly revise your safety policies. The best way to ensure that your safety policies are effective is with a safety audit. In this article, we’ll review why audits are important to your company’s safety plans, and how you can successfully audit your workplace for safety.
What is a safety audit?
A safety audit is a full examination of the safety programs, policies, and procedures in your workplace. Safety audits should include:
- Gathering data about the safety programs that are currently in place.
- An assessment of the data that you’ve gathered.
Why perform a safety audit?
A safety audit should include a full examination of the safety programs, policies, and procedures in your workplace. The aims of completing a safety audit are to:
- Determine if your organization is following the recommended safe work practices, both internal (company policy) and external (legislated requirements).
- Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses your existing safety policies and procedures.
What are the outcomes of a successful safety audit?
Safety audits should be performed regularly in order to accommodate changes to your workplace. A successful safety audit should lead to the following outcomes:
- Updating your existing safety policies to account for the passage of time and any new employees, equipment, or work sites.
- Introducing new safety policies that consider your current requirements and resolve any weaknesses that are identified.
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What should you look for when conducting a safety audit?
A successful safety audit needs to be comprehensive, examining all potential dangers at all levels of your organization. When conducting a safety audit, be sure to take the following steps:
- Interviews with personnel involved with development and maintenance of your safety programs.
- Review safety education in your workplace, including the training process and available documentation.
- Review your emergency preparedness plans, including earthquake kits, fire escape plans, and any other disaster response materials.
- Identify hazards in your workplace, and any external factors that could affect the safety of workers.
- Assess not just your safety programs, but how well your programs are implemented.
Where should you start?
Because safety audits have so many factors to consider, they can seem daunting. Like any important task, it’s helpful to think about safety audits by breaking them down into their components, like we’ve outlined above. To start conducting your own safety audit, download our free Hazard Assessment Guide for help with spotting the risk factors in your workplace.