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As with just about anything else, workplace health and safety often require a proactive approach. You never want to wait for something to go wrong and then act. By then, you’ll have experienced a workplace accident that could have been prevented.
The best approach is to audit health and safety in the workplace regularly. Naturally, this is a little easier said than done. Let’s take a look at some tips to help audit health and safety properly and create a safer work environment.
One of the best tools to audit health and safety is simply being diligent in keeping records. Not only is it important to audit your workplace for safety hazards, but it’s important to keep a record of those audits. Knowing what you did during previous inspections will help you be more efficient with future audits. The same is true for records of past accidents. The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to assess your future safety needs. Not only will this benefit your internal audits, but it will be critical if there is ever an OSHA investigation of your company.
This may seem obvious, but the workers conducting the investigation must be trained to audit health and safety. Of course, it’s possible to hire professionals from outside the company to perform the audit. But if you use internal employees, they need to know what to look for and how to inspect various aspects of the workplace. They need to know OSHA regulations and standards inside and out. They need to be able to identify hazards and OSHA violations. They must also be objective. This is why getting a fresh set of eyes from outside the company can be useful for performing an audit.
Workplace audits aren’t meant to be exciting, which is why something as boring as a checklist can be useful. A checklist will help auditors double-check their work and not overlook anything. This is another reason why records of previous audits come in handy. Over the course of several audits, you’ll be able to add items to your checklist, making each subsequent safety inspection more efficient than the last. When auditors have a checklist, they will know they are being as thorough as possible.
You can’t just wake up one day and decide to audit health and safety at the workplace. The persons performing the audit should have time to prepare and create a plan while the workers who may have their jobs interrupted by the inspection also need to be told about the upcoming audit. These kinds of things take some level of planning. Plus, internal audits and inspections should be scheduled regularly, which means there is a specific date in mind for when it will occur. If you stick to the schedule, this should provide adequate time for the auditors to plan ahead and be prepared.
There is bound to be both good and bad news coming out of an internal audit. There will be areas where you are doing a good job and other areas where you will need to improve. This will be normal for every company, and so it’s important not to be discouraged by the results of the audit. Keep in mind that you audit health and safety to learn more information that will ultimately help you create a safer workplace. Learn to embrace the positives and pledge to fix the negatives coming out of an audit.
Naturally, companies need to use the right set of tools before, during, and after an audit of workplace safety. Most of the time, one of those tools is a workplace safety management system. Our software does a great job of monitoring all aspects of safety, which can help companies stay on schedule with audits and create checklists that will make them effective.
If you don’t want to leave anything to chance when it comes to workplace safety, get in touch with us so we can help you stay organized and create a safer workplace.
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