The Importance of Workplace Safety Audits
As an employer or business owner, ensuring the safety of your employees and customers should be a top priority. One way to achieve this is through regular workplace safety audits. A workplace safety audit is an inspection process that helps identify and evaluate potential hazards, risks, and safety issues in the workplace. The main objective of a safety audit is to improve safety performance, prevent accidents and incidents, and ensure compliance with safety regulations and legislation.
Legislative Compliance Requirements
Workplace safety audits are mandatory in Australia under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (WHS Regulations). Under these regulations, employers are required to ensure the safety and health of their workers and anyone else who may be affected by the work they do. Employers are also required to identify hazards and assess risks, implement risk control measures, provide information, instruction, and training to workers, and regularly monitor and review their safety systems.
Policies and Procedures
To comply with safety regulations and legislation, employers should have a safety management system in place. A safety management system includes policies, procedures, and processes that are designed to identify and manage safety risks in the workplace. The safety management system should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it remains effective and relevant.
Preparation for a Workplace Safety Audit
Before conducting a workplace safety audit, it is important to prepare adequately. Preparation involves identifying the scope of the audit, setting objectives, developing an audit plan, and selecting an audit team.
Scope of the Audit: The scope of the audit refers to the areas and activities that will be covered during the audit. The scope should be determined based on the nature of the workplace, the risks involved, and any specific regulatory requirements.
Objectives: The objectives of the audit should be clearly defined and communicated to all stakeholders involved. The objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) and aligned with the overall safety management system goals.
Audit Plan: The audit plan should include details such as the audit scope, objectives, methodology, timeline, and resources required. The plan should be reviewed and approved by all stakeholders before the audit commences.
Audit Team: The audit team should be composed of individuals with the necessary expertise and experience in safety management and auditing. The team should be independent, impartial, and free from any conflicts of interest.
Workplace Audit Inspection Plan
A workplace safety audit involves a thorough inspection of the workplace to identify potential hazards and safety issues. The inspection should cover all aspects of the workplace, including the physical environment, equipment, systems, and procedures. The following are the key areas that should be covered during a workplace safety audit.
The physical environment of the workplace should be assessed for any potential hazards or risks. This includes the layout of the workplace, lighting, ventilation, temperature, and noise levels. The inspection should also cover the condition of the floors, walls, ceilings, and any other structural elements.
All equipment used in the workplace should be inspected for any potential hazards or risks. This includes machinery, tools, vehicles, and personal protective equipment (PPE). The inspection should cover the condition of the equipment, its maintenance, and any safety features or guards.
The safety management systems in place should be assessed for effectiveness and compliance with safety regulations and legislation. This includes policies, procedures, training programs, emergency response plans, and incident reporting systems. The inspection should also cover any risk assessments, hazard identification, and control measures that are in place.
All procedures related to safety should be assessed for effectiveness and compliance with safety regulations and legislation. This includes procedures related to work processes, job safety analysis, hazard identification, incident reporting, and emergency response. The inspection should also cover the availability and accessibility of safety information, such as safety manuals, signage, and labels.
During the workplace safety audit, it is important to review all relevant documentation related to safety. This includes incident reports, risk assessments, hazard identification, and control measures. The inspection should also cover any documentation related to training, procedures, and policies.
Reporting and Follow-up
After the workplace safety audit is complete, a report should be prepared to outline the findings and recommendations. The report should include a summary of the audit scope, objectives, methodology, and findings. It should also include recommendations for improvement, such as changes to procedures, equipment, or training programs. The report should be shared with all stakeholders involved and a follow-up plan should be developed to ensure that the recommendations are implemented.
What to Include in a Safety Audit
The following is an example of what list items to include in a workplace safety audit checklist.
Workplace Safety Audit Checklist
1. Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
- Are all hazards and risks identified?
- Have risk assessments been conducted?
- Are control measures in place for identified hazards and risks?
- Are control measures being effectively implemented?
2. Legislative Compliance Requirements
- Is the workplace compliant with relevant safety regulations and legislation?
- Are safety policies and procedures in place and being followed?
- Are employees aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding safety?
3. Policies and Procedures
- Are safety policies and procedures documented and accessible?
- Are employees trained on safety policies and procedures?
- Are policies and procedures being effectively implemented?
Are incident reports, risk assessments, and other safety documentation up to date?
Are training records and other safety documentation up to date and accessible?
Are policies and procedures documented and accessible?
5. Reporting and Follow-up
- Are incidents and near-misses being reported and investigated?
- Are recommendations for improvement being implemented?
- Are follow-up inspections being conducted to ensure that control measures are effective?
By using this checklist as a starting point and customising it to the specific workplace being audited, businesses can conduct a thorough workplace safety audit and identify potential hazards and risks, implement control measures, and ensure compliance with safety regulations and legislation to maintain a safe workplace.
Below: Digital Hazard Assessment Checklist by DIGI CLIP mobile forms
DIGI CLIP mobile forms provide digital safety, compliance & inspections checklists
Digital Checklists for Workplace Safety Audits
Digital checklists can be an effective tool for conducting workplace safety audits. With a digital checklist, auditors can easily record their observations and findings using a mobile device or computer. This can help ensure that all areas of the workplace are covered during the audit and that all relevant information is captured. Digital checklists can also help streamline the audit process by providing pre-populated checklists and automated reminders for follow-up tasks. In addition, digital checklists can improve the accuracy and consistency of audit findings by providing standardised questions and response options. Overall, digital checklists can save time and improve the effectiveness of workplace safety audits.
A workplace safety audit is an essential process that helps ensure the safety and health of employees and customers. By identifying potential hazards and risks, implementing control measures, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations and legislation, businesses can prevent accidents and incidents, improve safety performance, and maintain a safe and healthy workplace. To conduct an effective workplace safety audit, it is important to prepare adequately, develop an audit plan, and cover all relevant areas of the workplace. By doing so, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to safety and protect their employees, customers, and reputation.
DIGI CLIP mobile forms – What Do We Do?
DIGI CLIP mobile forms is an easy-to-use inexpensive digital checklist & inspection app and cloud-based software. DIGI CLIP is used across different industries to capture safety and compliance data and other information to help improve safety, compliance and operational efficiencies.
DIGI CLIP will allow you to remove paper reporting from your business – no more lost, late missing or illegible checklists. The DIGI CLIP mobile app allows images, comments and digital signatures to be added to checklists from a phone or tablet.
DIGI CLIP has a Form Library where you can access all of the above forms and more for your use. All checklists and inspections can be edited or updated to meet your risk and operational requirements.
DIGI CLIP also has a safety management module called Safety Tracker. Safety Tracker is our incident and hazard reporting and management software application that adds to DIGI CLIP mobile forms. Incidents and hazards are reported via the DIGI CLIP app or directly on the cloud-based software. Incident and quality Investigations and hazard assessments are completed on templates provided by DIGI CLIP and corrective and closeout actions are tracked by the cloud-based software.
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Streamline your safety, compliance & inspection checks with the DIGI CLIP mobile checklist app today.
- WorkSafe QLD – Audits and Inspections
- SafeWork NSW – Workplace Inspections
- WorkSafe QLD – Workplace Inspections
- Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety – Effective Workplace Inspections
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