For many safety managers, the thought of an audit is an invitation for a stress nightmare. For employees, it’s a headache.
So if you float the idea of mock safety audits, some of your colleagues may well look at you like you’ve grown a second head.
The thing is, mock safety audits are one of the best things you can do to make your real EHS audits more successful. Here are a few reasons why mock audits should be part of your regular schedule.
1. Identify the Best (and Worst) of Your Program
First, mock audits give you the chance to do something exciting: identify the best of your program!
All too often, employees think of safety audits as punitive. It’s an annoyance if nothing is wrong, and if something is wrong, the issue will come down on their heads.
But mock audits give you the chance to reinforce employee engagement in safety protocols by rewarding practices that are working. It’s a chance for you to energize your employees and make them excited to do their part.
From the management side, it’s also a chance to measure your biggest safety goals and determine whether your programs are working.
On the flipside, mock audits also give you the chance to look at what isn’t working in your programs. That’s also good news because you get the chance to fix them before the real audit comes.
2. Improve Your Baseline and Training
Since a mock audit gives you the chance to take a long, hard look at your EHS program, it’s also a great opportunity to make your organization stronger than ever.
Think of it this way: many OSHA audits (and serious issues identified in those audits) lead to new policies and procedures. Why not approach your mock audit the same way?
Remember, an audit isn’t punitive. It’s a chance for you to innovate and think big to keep your workplace safe. That way, when the real audit comes around, you’re ready to show off those big ideas and show how your training has paid off for your employees.
3. Ensure Compliance Before the Real Audit
If you’re paying attention, you’ve noticed a common trend by now: there’s the mock audit, and there’s the real audit.
For many companies, safety procedures are motivated by compliance with regulatory responsibilities. And from a pure business perspective, mock audits give you the chance to make sure that you’re up-to-code and dodge expensive penalties.
More importantly, mock audits give you the chance to make sure you’re up to standard before the real audit.
The difference between being subpar on a mock audit versus a real audit? In a mock audit, you can fix the problem. In a real audit, you’ll fix the problem while also paying a few thousand dollars in penalty fees, on top of the PR nightmare you’ll have to clean up.
4. Pursue Optimal Performance
Last but not least, a mock audit gives you the chance to pursue optimal workplace performance. Think of it this way.
Your employees work better when they’re safe. They don’t have to slow down for potential hazards, and you won’t lose productivity to absent employees and the time spent fixing problems.
So really, by doing a mock audit, you’re giving your company the chance to be more efficient than ever.
Making the Most of Mock Safety Audits
Of course, if you want to make the most of mock safety audits, you have to be ready to go the extra mile. It’s not enough to make sure that your audit goes right. You have to be ready to resolve the issues your audit might uncover.