Is it time for a health and safety audit?

Friday March 12, 2021

We’re sure that, as an employer, you do everything you can to keep your business compliant with health and safety legislation. Nevertheless, there is much value in getting an expert outside opinion. A fresh set of eyes can spot issues that may be invisible from the inside, allowing you to forestall any serious problems. The Health and Safety Executive recommends regular health and safety audits, and here at The H&S Dept, we are happy to work with you on this.

What is a health and safety audit?

The word “audit” has negative connotations for many business owners – someone coming in and pointing out shortcomings. However, we are not concerned with pedantry. We just want to help you improve your business.

A health and safety audit is an external review of your company’s health and safety policies. As well as checking that your documentation is in order, a health and safety audit will have a practical element. This means that the auditor will make sure that your H&S policies are effective in practice, as well as on paper.

Auditors, like ours at The H&S Dept will conduct interviews with managers and staff, and will observe the day-to-day implementation of health and safety measures. When the audit is over, you are presented with a comprehensive report. This will highlight both your strengths and your weaknesses, and will offer suggestions for improvements.

What are the advantages of a health and safety audit?

There are several benefits to a health and safety audit. Some will be felt immediately, while others will become apparent as time goes on:

  • HSE prosecutions regularly focus on issues that a health and safety audit would have flagged up. Catching these issues early reduces the risk of harm to people on site, a hefty fine and a lot of bad publicity.
  • An audit can increase morale by showing that you care about staff welfare. By involving your employees in the process, you can foster a culture of safety across the company.
  • Unsafe practices are often inefficient. By improving your health and safety compliance, you can also improve your productivity.

When is a good time for a health and safety audit?

Regular health and safety audits are always a good idea. However, an audit is especially important in certain situations:

  • A recent accident or near miss could be a sign that something is wrong. You may not be so lucky next time, so you should carry out an audit as soon as possible.
  • An audit may be required if your company has expanded or moved premises. Previous health and safety policies may be less effective in a different setting or with a larger team. An audit will spot these problems and help you to adapt.
  • If staff or management are expressing concerns about health and safety, an audit is vital. Even if you are confident in your health and safety practices, ignoring these concerns could have a seriously negative effect on morale, and could magnify your culpability if things do go wrong unexpectedly.

An independent health and safety audit

At The H&S Dept, we pride ourselves on our tailor-made health and safety audits. We take the time to get to know your business so that we can suggest improvements that will work for you. Once our expert auditors have finished their work, we will provide you with a simple, colour-coded report and a handy to-do list so that you can start making changes right away. Get in touch today for more details.

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