Health and safety audits are necessary for you to ensure your legal compliance with relevant legislation.
They help you to identify any problems in your health and, in so doing, they can help you prevent any incidents from occurring in the workplace before they actually happen.
Now, in implementing an effective health and safety audit, your auditor will need to first set out an audit schedule to ensure that the timing of the audit is mapped out effectively and efficiently.
Here are 9 factors to consider in preparing an effective health and safety schedule:
Factor 1: Location
Which department or area is to be audited?
Factor 2: Purpose/scope:
This would include questions like: ‘Why exactly do you need to do an audit?’
Possible answers could include following routine, investigating a very specific and recent problem and so on.
On top of that, you should decide on what the scope of the audit should cover.
Factor 3: Dates
Decide on how long it should/will take to complete audit.
Factor 4: Time of opening meeting
EVERY audit MUST begin with an audit meeting. Also, ALL managers in the departments/areas being audited should be present here.
Factor 5: Timed programme of visits to specific areas
Here, you must determine how much time you’ll need to audit each area.
This estimate should be based on the size and type of operation of the area/department in question.
Factor 6: Time of the closing meeting
Every audit MUST end with a closing meeting. And it’s highly recommended that all managers who were present at the opening meeting should be present at the closing meeting.
Factor 7: Members of the audit team
Select audit team members very carefully! This is so that the correct skills and abilities can make the team effective and efficient.
Factor 8: Team meetings
Allow for enough time so that the audit team can together WHILE you’re busy with the audit.
These meeting can discuss aspects such as:
What is the position in relation to the health and safety aims and objectives;
Are things getting better or worse; etc.
Factor 9: Pre-closing meeting
Allow your audit team to have a wrap-up discussion BEFORE the closing meeting.