What is Safety Auditing?
Safety auditing is a valuable management technique that is highly recommended by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Indeed, HSE Guidance document HSG65 “Successful Health and Safety Management” recommends that audits are undertaken annually to assist organisations to focus their resources in areas of most need. Our auditing systems can be measured against HSG65, OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001 as well as measuring your status against legal compliance and your own internal standards.
An audit will show exactly how you measure up to legal requirements and HSE guidance, and whether your systems are working in practice. It will act as a benchmark from which you can form a health and safety plan so your valuable time and resources are spent in the areas where they are most needed.
Auditing Designed For You
We have a number of different formats that you can consider and decide what is best for your needs, and we mix and match these so you get exactly what you want. We have a choice of scored and non-scored audit systems to choose from; the scored audits enable a benchmark of performance from which you can compare site by site analysis, or year on year performance against any targets or KPIs you may have set. This is particularly useful when demonstrating to your stakeholders structured systems for achieving continual improvement.
The scope of an audit
Our auditor will examine your own management policies and procedures for securing health, safety and welfare and any evidence you have to support what you are saying. We audit in 3 layers:
- Initial gap analysis via interview with key role holders in your organisation.
- Review of evidence to substantiate policies and systems that you state are in place.
- Physical inspection of the workplace and observation of working practices to check the extent to which systems are being followed in practice, and the extent to which these appear to be working. The audit will consider the 30 subject areas of health and safety (or as appropriate) described in the model contents list below (this list is altered so suit subjects that are relevant to you):
Model contents list
- Safety arrangements at the organisation
|1. Management of health and safety
2. Accidents and accident reporting
5. Display screen equipment
6. Electrical safety
7. Emergency lighting
8. Environmental protection
9. Fire prevention and emergencies
11. Hazardous substances
12. Housekeeping and cleanliness
13. Information and communication
14. Kitchens, catering and food safety
15. Lifts and lifting equipment
|16. Manual handling operations
18. Occupational health
19. Personal protective equipment
20. Plant rooms, machinery and equipment
21. Risk assessment requirements
22. Safety Policy
23. Safety signs and notices
25. Use of vehicles / vehicle safety
26. Water services
27. Welfare provision
28. Working time
29. Work at heights
30. Workplace environment
We will prepare and submit a user-friendly written report that identifies where attention is needed to meet legislation or a recognised standard. It will also explain why such attention is needed. Each subject heading will have an action plan on which you can record your own targets and time-frames for addressing, and the people who are allocated with responsibility for the task.
Recommendations will be broken down into three categories:
|Actions required to meet an actual or implied legal requirement
Actions required to address a major non-conformity to OHSAS 18001 or other agreed standard
|Actions that are good practice, and would be expected to be taken by your organisation
Actions required to address a minor non-conformity to the OHSAS 18001 or other agreed standard
|Other suggestions that, whilst not essential, may enhance the working environment and morale of employees.|
Auditing to OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001
ISO 45001 is an international management standard. The Association of British Insurers has stated that organisations who meet a recognised standard are likely to attract a healthy discount from their Employers Liability Insurance premium.
We have specially designed audit formats that can identify to what extent your health and safety management systems are meeting the specifications set in the management standard. If you are not yet meeting the standard, then we can show you where you may be going wrong:
- the extent to which you are meeting legal compliance
- the extent to which you are meeting HSE guidance and industry standards
- the remedial actions that are required, and the priorities for addressing these
- what areas of your management system need development to meet, or maintain compliance with, OHSAS 18001.
This can be the first step towards designing and implementing your management system so it is either aligned to, or can be accredited to, OHSAS 18001. We can help you along the whole process too or even do it for you via our sister company QCS International. Simply click this link to find out more.
Why Have a Health and Safety Audit?
Our audits will tell you the whole picture of health and safety compliance as well as where your key risks are. As we literally cover the A-Z of Health and Safety topics that relate to your organisation, you will know the whole story. It will either give you assurance that you’ve identified your key compliance and risk requirements, or tell you where there are gaps.
Our audits go further than this though and also identifies which processes/policies you have in place are working in practice and where you may have a false sense of security, thinking that you are effectively managing a requirement when it isn’t being followed through at the sharp end. By knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie, it gives you some strategic direction to plan what additional resources you may need, the actions you need to take and to prioritise what needs addressing first. Our action plan always helps our clients to develop their own road map to improvement, and to further consider if and where any further measures needed to improve safety can be integrated in processes that already exist. This helps buy-in from managers and staff by reducing duplication of work or giving them what they perceive as “extra work”.
Our Specialist Sector-Specific Audits
Some areas of employment have very specific health and safety issues, and may have additional legal standards to meet. To reduce duplication in auditing and management of these areas we have devised specialist audit formats that are unique to the industry or professions needs, thereby offering an integrated approach to management and minimising your resources.
Examples of our specialist audits include:
If your organisation does not fit into any of these categories but still requires a tailor-made audit format, we would be delighted to do this for you.
Scored Audit System
Our scored audit system is specially designed for multi-site organisations who wish to measure site-by-site performance. This format can also be useful for single site organisation who wish to measure improvements to their management system year on year.
Please call us on 01622 717700for further information as to how this works.