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      Health & Safety Auditing Service

      Safety Auditing assesses how compliant your company is with both legal requirements as well as your own standards and policies. 

      With over 30 years of experience in most sectors, we can apply our expert knowledge to conduct your safety audits or support your team in developing your own internal audit system.


      What is Safety Auditing?

      Health & Safety auditing is a method to determine your organisation's status of risk and compliance with minimum legal requirements. Our audits range from a simple gap analysis of compliance all the way through to a deep dive of your organisation's processes, their effectiveness in practice and the behaviours of your team.

      Health and safety auditing is a valuable management technique that is highly recommended by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). HSE Guidance document HSG65 “Successful Health and Safety Management” recommends that safety audits are undertaken annually to assist organisations to focus their resources in areas of most need. Our auditing systems can be aligned with  HSG65 or ISO 45001, as well as measuring your status against legal compliance and your own internal policies.

      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.

      Our audits are comprehensive and give you a complete picture of where your systems are effective or where you need to improve. This will help you with immediate and longer-term strategic planning. Your resources will be used to best effect and you will know where systems can be integrated or simplified to gain added value. You will have a road map to drive continuous improvement throughout your organisation.

      Why Have a Health and Safety Audit?

      Our audits tell you the whole picture of health and safety compliance as well as where your key risks are. It will consider how robust your systems are in practice, whether your documentation is sufficiently robust to defend civil/criminal liability and whether the practices and behaviours of your teams match your own policies. As we cover the A-Z of Health & Safety topics relevant to your organisation, you will know the whole story. It will give you assurance that you’ve identified your key compliance and risk requirements and tell you where there are gaps.

      Our audits go further than this by identifying which of your processes and policies are working in practice and which are not. By highlighting your strengths and weaknesses, a safety audit gives you strategic direction to plan additional resources , decide on actions you need to take, and prioritise accordingly. Our action plan enables you to develop your own timeframes and priorities, and to  consider if/where measures  can be integrated into processes that already exist. This is a key driver in developing your safety culture and can save you time, effort and cost in the longer term. 

      Risk management process

      Health and Safety Audit Procedure

      When we conduct a safety audit, we will examine your management policies and procedures for securing health, safety, and welfare, along with any evidence you have to support this. We then check the extent to which your policies and systems are being followed in practice by your operational teams. To get a full picture of your health and safety performance, our audits consist of 3 steps…

      Gap Analysis

      The first step will be an initial gap analysis via an interview with key role holders in your organisation.

      Review Evidence

      Next, we will conduct a review of evidence to substantiate policies and systems that you state are in place. This is important when considering evidence/defence in claims etc.

      Physical Inspection

      Lastly, we conduct a physical inspection of the workplace and practices to check if systems are being followed in practice. We also observe and report back on behavours, attitudes etc to support safety culture development.

      Health and Safety Audit Checklist

      Our health and safety audits consider the 30 subject areas of health and safety listed below. This list is altered to suit subjects that are relevant to you and your industry. For example, in food manufacture/process organisations we include HACCP (hazard control at critical control point) analysis. In healthcare, we consider the extent to which your health and safety processes support compliance with  CQC (Care Quality Commission) domains.

      1. Leadership  of health and safety
      2. Accidents and accident reporting
      3. Asbestos management
      4. Contractor selection, vetting and management
      5. Display screen equipment
      6. Electrical safety
      7. Emergency lighting
      8. Environmental protection
      9. Fire prevention and emergencies
      10. First-aid
      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
      17. Noise assessment and control
      18. Occupational health
      19. Personal protective equipment
      20. Plant rooms, machinery and work equipment
      21. Risk assessment requirements
      22. Safety Policy and procedures
      23. Safety signs and notices
      24. Training
      25. Use of vehicles / vehicle movements / traffic routes
      26. Water services and legionella management
      27. Welfare provision (rest areas, toilets, washing facilities etc)
      28. Working time
      29. Work at heights
      30. Workplace environment (space, ventilation, lighting etc)

      Auditing to 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 gap analysis and audit formats that can identify the extent to which  your health and safety management systems are meeting the specifications set in the management standard. If you are not yet meeting a requirement then we can show you where you may be going wrong and how to put it right. We consider:

      • The extent to which your current systems align with requirements of ISO 45001:2015.
      • The remedial actions that are required, and the priorities for addressing these.
      • Guidance on integrating or developing systems to maintain compliance with ISO 45001.

      An audit (or gap analysis) is the first step towards designing and implementing your management system meet requirements of ISO 45001. We can help you along the whole process too or even do it for you via our sister company QCS International's outsourced service. You can find out more here.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      A H&S inspection simply entails a walk around of your premises to identify and comment on hazards, working practices and behaviours. An inspection will not consider the policies and processes behind the physical evidence and whether they are being met, or are compliant with the law. An inspection is a useful monitoring tool, but does not provide assurance that your organisation is legally compliant.

      A H&S audit will include an inspection to validate whether your organisation’s policies and procedures are in line with current legal requirements and your own standards. It will help you to identify if and where exactly you need to modify or change your procedures and where your procedures are working well. However, an audit goes much deeper and scrutinizes the management processes and systems in place..

      This is because they take longer ! As explained in the question above about the difference between and audit and inspection we need time to interview key role holders such as estates management, HR/people management and production / operations management. It also takes time to review the multiple documents that we request are made available. For example, we will scrutinise all your maintenance records, electrical safety maintenance records and every single health and safety policy as part of the document review process.

      To achieve the best results, the answer is yes. This is because we need to ensure the key role holders are available during the audit time made available and our audit does not conflict with anything within your business. Time is also needed for an organisation to prepare in advance the list of documentation we send. This is an important point as our auditors can only comment on evidence they see at the time, and absence of relevant documentation can affect our overall findings and recommendations.

      We can arrange an audit confidentially so only the minimum people essential are forewarned. We can also make an “unplanned” return visit to observe working practices / evidence on site once the initial gap analysis and document review has been completed to gain a truer picture of behaviours and practices.

      Using an external auditor is the best solution for ensuring an expert and unbiased audit!

      External auditors have more experience and knowledge of the industry and auditing process and are up-to-date with the latest legislation and standards. We offer unbiased analysis and recommendations with a clear objective to ensure the safety of your employees.

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      Safety Audit FAQs

      We have a number of different scored and non-scored formats that you can consider. We will prepare a user-friendly written report that identifies where attention and corrective actions are 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 timeframes and the people responsible for the task.

      We also have a software system that enables you to log in and use the audit as a live working tool, by allocating your own timeframes to actions, individuals etc. This enables remote tracking and reporting on close out of actions. 

      Recommendations will be broken down into three categories:

      RED - Actions required to meet an actual or implied legal requirement OR Actions required to address a major non-conformity to ISO 45001 or other agreed standard

      YELLOW - Actions that are good practice, and would be expected to be taken by your organisation OR Actions required to address a minor non-conformity to the ISO 45001 or other agreed standard

      GREEN - Non-essential suggestions which may enhance the working environment and morale of employees.

      Yes! Some areas of employment have very specific health and safety issues and may have additional legal standards to meet. We have devised specialist audit formats that are unique to the industry needs, thereby offering an integrated approach to management and minimising your resources. Examples of our specialist occupational health and safety audits include:

      Care home environment

      Motor vehicle repairers

      Call centres

      Food sector

      Offices and commercial premises

      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.

      Our scored audits enable businesses to benchmark performance and compare site by site analysis or year on year performance against targets or KPIs. This is particularly useful when demonstrating to your stakeholders structured systems for achieving continual improvement. This format can also be useful for single-site organisation that wish to measure improvements to their management system year on year.