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What Is a Safety Audit?

Just as financial audits evaluate the validity of financial documentation, so safety audits evaluate the effectiveness of safety programs. In both cases, the goal is the same: to provide an extensive, comprehensive test that pinpoints problems to be corrected. When it comes to keeping your industrial site safe and free from hazards, the importance of safety audits cannot be overstated. When done properly, safety audits greatly assist your safety supervisors and staff by saving them time and allowing them to focus on regular responsibilities. Below, find information on safety audits, from what they involve to how one can be conducted, whether in house or through safety outsourcing.

What to Expect from a Safety Audit:
The first goal of a safety audit is to gather information, whether using a checklist or predetermined protocol, about how industrial safety services are currently functioning. A safety trained supervisor or a professional safety auditor will come into the audit with specific objectives in mind while gathering information and then make evaluations based upon that data. What he or she will evaluate may include the record of incidents at the site, the current systems in place to control hazards, the role of management in risk prevention and a physical inspection of the site and employees involved in typical work responsibilities. At the end of the audit, you will have a report with findings, as well as suggested changes to improve the current safety systems and metrics to track those changes and their effectiveness.

Who Can Perform a Safety Audit:
While of course safety audits may be conducted by an in-house safety supervisor, there are distinct advantages in hiring an outside auditor. Due to their great familiarity with the site and its day-to-day operations, staff supervisors may miss important details that an outside inspector will catch. The new perspective a professional safety auditor offers can make all the difference in noticing potential problems and thereby saving your organization thousands of dollars in claims and insurance premiums.

The Benefits of a Safety Audit:
Conducting a safety audit not only allows you to evaluate your site’s industrial and construction safety services, but also it can lead to great cost savings by reducing on-the-job injuries. According to the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), regular safety audits are vital to minimizing risks and safety hazards in the workplace. Even insurance companies recognize the value of accident prevention, as most offer discounts to companies that have strong safety programs in place.

Matt Jancosek writes for Code Red Safety & Rental (www.safetysupervisor.com/), a company experienced in confined space rescue training and other safety training services to keep workers safe and aware while on the job. Learn more at www.safetysupervisor.com.