What Is a Safety Audit?

Posted on 07/21 by Erin Helms

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Within an organization, the safety of employees is critical. Leaders should conduct safety audits to assess how they work and determine how to make it safer and more efficient. Safety audits help establish security procedures and minimize injury risks. Safety audits adhere to federal regulations, show dedication to the safety of employees, determine the cause of workplace injuries, and make it possible to update safety protocols.

What Is a Safety Audit?

Safety audits evaluate the health and safety of a work environment. An audit can identify hazards, and the findings can help make the area safer for the workers. Organizational leaders use safety audits to develop safety procedures for team members. There are specific events that warrant a safety audit. Here are three common ones: New management. It is the manager’s responsibility to promote safety protocols. A safety audit reviews the practices in the new manager’s location to gauge the new manager’s work performance. Advanced technology. If new equipment is required, leaders must ensure that employees know how to use the equipment safely. Safety audits help leaders organize training sessions to address concerns and track usage. Business expansion. When companies expand their services to multiple locations, a safety audit ensures that the new site will uphold the company's safety standards.

How to Perform a Safety Audit

If you are ready to perform a safety audit within your organization, there are a few steps to consider for success, including: Establish an audit team. Designate a team of professionals to assess the work environment. You might use internal employees or outside consultants. Ensure employees evaluate other departments and not their own to avoid bias. This team will determine workplace hazards defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Prepare for the audit. The team must review the organization’s safety protocols and develop a checklist. The list will identify areas requiring greater scrutiny and measure current operations against expectations. Visit the work environment. At this point, you must visit the environment you will evaluate. Look at factors such as lighting, the placement of equipment, and signs to warn employees of hazards. Observe employees working. Watch employees and determine if they are upholding company safety standards. Watch how they handle machinery and check if they are wearing protective gear. Interview employees. It is helpful to interview the supervisor of the location you are auditing. Ask questions regarding their safety training for employees. Check on how managers authorize specific equipment and how they provide direction in its use. Evaluate the data. After observing and collecting data, evaluate your findings and conclude the area’s adherence to safety procedures. Share your results and collaborate on making the environment safer for employees.

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