Health and Safety Audit
A health and safety audit is an expert assessment of an organisation’s health and safety policies, systems and procedures.
Do I need an audit?
Like most businesses we encounter, if you are not sure of the standard of your health and safety management system, a health and safety audit is the best place to start.
A common misconception is that a health and safety audit focuses on the things which you are not doing so well as a company. This is quite simply not the case! Whilst the audit will identify areas of improvement, it will also highlight successes.
Additionally, a health and safety audit demonstrates to your employees that the organisation is committed to ensuring that they are kept safe whilst at work.
What does a health and safety audit cover?
Our health and safety audits are broken into 2 parts:
Part 1: Documentation Review
This is checking whether the documentation you have is suitable for the types of work undertaken within your organisation, this will include a review of the health and safety policy, guidance documents, risk assessments, SOPs, permit-to-work systems etc.
Part 2: Interviews:
We like to conduct interviews with managers, heads of department, as well as ‘on the ground’ personnel.
How does a health and safety audit work?
Here at USP, our audits take place in 2 stages:
Stage 1 – Initial Audit
Once instructed, we will arrange a date that suits you, to come onto your site and go through the audit documentation. To ensure that the audit runs as efficiently as possible, we will need a member of your team to locate this documentation and provide it to us on the day and be able to answer any questions we have.
Once we have gone through all of the relevant documentation, we want to get to know a bit more about your business. The only way we can do this is by having conversations with various people within the organisation.
Typically, an on-site audit takes around one day (depending on the size of the organisation and the level of the documentation, as well as the geographical location of your site).
Stage 2 – Audit write-up and wash-up meeting
Once we have all of the relevant information, we will go back to our offices and produce a formal audit report. The audit report will detail the areas which you are doing very well in, as well as the areas where improvements are needed. Once the document is completed, we will send this to you, and will schedule a meeting where we can go through the contents of the report. You are then free to review the audit report and summary from the meeting and either discuss with us the options available to address the issues raised, or take the documentation away.
Stage 3 – Strategy plan (optional)
At USP we find that clients we conduct audits for typically ask us to address the issues raised during the audit.
Should this be something which you are agreeable to, we will provide you with a quote for the works. Once the quote has been agreed, we will go away and produce a project plan, which will detail the tasks that need to be completed, as well as a timeframe, so you are kept abreast of the time involved in improving your management system. This is something which is truly unique to USP and something which you will not find with other health and safety organisations.
To see how we work, please view our ‘how we work’ page.
Why work with USP?
At USP, our health and safety consultants have experience in conducting health and safety audits from small to large companies and everything in between. You can rest assured that we will take the time to guide you through the process step-by-step, ensuring that we answer every question along the way.
Can I conduct a health and safety audit myself?
Whilst you can conduct a health and safety audit yourself, we would advise against it. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, unless you have the expertise, you would be unable to ensure that you are being compliant with all relevant health and safety legislation. Secondly, we find that the best audits conducted are those completed by individuals separate to the organisation, who approach the audit in an objective manner.
How often should safety audits be done?
In our opinion, we believe that a health and safety audit should be conducted on an annual basis, to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and ensure that the document evolves in line with the company.
Why should I have a safety audit?
A health and safety audit will identify both the good things and the bad things with regards to your health and safety management system. It therefore allows you to address the issues found, to ensure that you are keeping your workforce safe.