The phrase ‘health and safety audit’ has the power to strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest bosses. After all, managers often assume that such assessments are there to trip them up and catch them out. However, this isn’t the case. In fact, the audits can serve as a helpful tool that enables organisations to improve their risk management procedures. If you’re worried as to whether your business would pass such an analysis, keep reading.
What exactly does an audit involve?
Risk management specialists such as now offer audits that are tailored to suit the needs of specific organisations. In the case of smaller enterprises, these assessments can be as simple as an inspection of the premises and a review of current health and safety documentation. This is followed by a report containing any observations and recommendations. Meanwhile, larger companies may require external audits of their management systems.
Nothing to fear
The point about these audits is that they are not conducted on a pass or fail basis. Rather, they are intended to highlight any elements of risk management that can be improved. Identifying these issues serves to the benefit rather than the detriment of the companies involved. It means they can address any potential problems and make their operations safer and more effective.
Simple safety measures
There are many misconceptions out there surrounding health and safety, so it’s important to make sure you know the facts. In essence, risk management simply involves using common sense to control dangers that people may face.
As an employer, you are expected to plan how you will manage health and safety and, if you have five or more staff members, you must write this down. You are also expected to check your plan with your employees, and of course to put it into practice. In addition, you should appoint competent people to help you control hazards.
Another crucial element of health and safety concerns risk assessments. You must assess and deal with the real dangers that your personnel face. This should be done safely and proportionally. Note that you are not expected to waste your time focussing on trivial dangers. Meanwhile, you should revisit your risk assessments each time you take on new staff or change your working practices.
You also have a responsibility to ensure that your personnel receive suitable health and safety training.
Peace of mind
As long as you make sure you follow the relevant safety procedures, you can enjoy peace of mind. After all, health and safety audits are simply there to help you improve standards in your organisation. For this reason, they should be seen as an opportunity rather than a chore.