When it comes to checking a workplace’s WHS performance, audits are one of the key tools we have to achieve this. Audits can be undertaken by internal employees or by an external provider. There are benefits to either. In-house audits can be less expensive, be undertaken at times that may be more suitable for the business and focus on areas that are key. External third-party audits may be more rigorous and stand up ethically and morally, but also have the advantage of having a fresh set of eyes and perspective looking at the business.
Why is a Health and Safety Audit Important?
What Types of Safety Audits are There?
Aussafety Business Health Check
WHS Management System Audits
WHS Management system audits may be assessed against the following standards:
Single aspect audits
Single aspect audits may include areas such as:
There are six simple steps that need to be taken when undertaking an audit. They include:
The action plan becomes the key part of the outcome of the audit process. The action a plan will be formulated based on the findings. Common findings for individual audit items included
Non-compliance – these may be broken down into major and minor non-compliance. These typically require urgent action and should be attended to with a matter or urgency.
Observation – these may include things that may lead to a non-compliance however they haven’t done so as yet. It could also be the subjective opinion of the auditor. The business can choose whether they want to make any changes to address these or not, i.e., typically not compulsory to meet their obligations.
Opportunity for Improvement – these may include things that are being done, however they could be done another way that would result in a better outcome.
How we can help?
The most important actions a business can take are the first step to decide to take action, and the step of following up that action. Taking the first step to undertake an audit of your business to improve processes is great, but what matters most is the continued follow up action to continually improve the business’ health and safety performance.
Nobody likes non-compliances, but not knowing about them and burying your head in the sand is worse, especially when the business can be held legally liable for any potential failing.