I have a safety committee comprised of all new members. We need to conduct a safety audit of our facility. How should we structure our audit?
The most important part of a safety and health audit is to make some specific decisions early on. Questions must be answered such as:
- Who is going to do the audit? Are you going to do it internally or involve an external party? If internal, who is involved specifically – HR? A team of safety and healthy experts in a committee?
- What are you actually going to audit – a part of safety and health in the organization or all aspects? If you are interested in doing a full audit, it is best to pick a specific area to work on – one at a time. Pick a monthly task to audit specifically (e.g. hazardous communication standard, lock out/tag out, emergency evacuation, etc.) and focus on that as an audit topic each month. Focusing on one topic will allow you to dig deeply into the standard and ensure compliance at all levels.
Once you are ready to audit and you know who and what is going to be a part of the audit, you need a clear checklist or questionnaire to use to audit each of the various aspects. In general, the audit should include the following items:
- Determine what requirements you are supposed to meet – look at all areas of legislations including state and federal.
- Assess whether or not you are meeting those legal requirements.
- Review your documents to ensure you have good documentation as well as best practices in place in recordkeeping.
- Identify any areas of risk in the workplace and determine how the organization attempts to minimize those risks.
- Identify strengths and weaknesses in your safety procedures.
- Recommend areas of improvements necessary for compliance and best practices.
- Document the implementation of those recommendations to ensure they do not become a legal liability in the future.
Once you have these pieces in place you are ready to audit – good luck!
Do you worry about doing what is right for your company and right for your employees while being legally compliant? Strategic HR understands your concerns with the well-being of your employees and the legal compliance of your organization. Conducting an audit of your Health and Safety function is a key component to making sure you are compliant. Let us help you with your audit using our tried and true practices. Please visit our Health, Safety & Security page or Legal Compliance page for more information on any of these services.