If you’re an employer, you have a legal responsibility to manage health and safety and reduce any risks to your employees as far as possible. A health and safety audit is an essential tool for checking the integrity of your health and safety management system, identifying good practice and any areas in need of further development. Regular auditing can help you to achieve higher standards of health and safety, and ensure you are fulfilling all of your legal responsibilities in this area.
The Health and Safety Executive states that all larger employers should have a formal procedure in place for health and safety auditing, but having regular health and safety audits is good practice for a business of any size. Knowing that your health and safety management systems are as effective as possible can improve your competitiveness. Regularly reviewing your standards makes certain that risk assessments are current and policies are working and fit for purpose. You can also audit specific aspects of health and safety, for example fire safety.
Auditors should take a neutral position, and have access to all the information they need to make any recommendations and check the systems in your organisation are working well. They will usually use set criteria or questions to assess particular areas of health and safety. Auditors can check document trails to ensure procedures are being followed and records kept correctly. They will give your policies a health check, to see if they are compliant with the correct legislation. They will speak to both management and employees on the “shop floor” to see what systems are in place and gather evidence of how these work in practice. At the end of this process, the Auditor produces a report with any recommendations that need to be implemented to make certain your health and safety systems are the best they can be.
Using an external Auditor can help in terms of being viewed as objective by your employees, who may find it easier to talk openly to someone they perceive as independent to your business. It can also help to have the fresh pair of eyes on your policies and procedures that using an “outsider” brings. It ensures that your audit is accepted by shareholders and by tax authorities. They may also have knowledge of other businesses in your sector, enabling them to effectively benchmark. Above all, an external auditor can bring a level of professional specialism that is rarely available in smaller organisations.
At Business Management Systems, our Health and Safety professionals are trained by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and are members of IOSH, so you can be sure we are well informed. We are transparent with our processes, procedures and consultancy fees. If you’re looking for a Health and Safety Auditor, Redditch Worcestershire based, please contact us.