Workplace Safety Audit Checklist: Assessing Safety Standards

Workplace Safety Audit Checklist: Assessing Safety Standards

Ensuring a safe and secure work environment is essential for the well-being of employees and the overall success of any organisation. Conducting regular workplace safety audits using a comprehensive checklist is a crucial step in assessing safety standards, identifying gaps, and implementing corrective actions. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of conducting a workplace safety audit, providing you with an informative checklist and valuable insights to maximise safety and compliance.

Understanding the Importance of Workplace Safety Audits

Workplace safety audits play a vital role in maintaining a secure working environment. They help organisations identify potential hazards, assess compliance with safety regulations, and prevent accidents or injuries. By conducting regular audits, businesses demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of their employees and visitors, protect their reputation, and reduce the risk of legal liabilities.

Developing a Comprehensive Workplace Safety Audit Checklist

Creating a well-designed checklist is the foundation of an effective workplace safety audit. It provides a systematic approach to evaluating safety standards, identifies areas of improvement, and facilitates the implementation of corrective measures. Here’s a step-by-step guide on developing a comprehensive checklist:

1. Determine the Scope of the Audit:

Define the scope of your safety audit by considering the specific areas, departments, or processes to be assessed. It could include physical aspects, equipment, procedures, emergency protocols, and employee training.

2. Research Applicable Regulations and Standards:

Familiarise yourself with relevant local, national, and industry-specific safety regulations and standards. These guidelines will help you align your audit checklist with the necessary legal requirements.

3. Tailor the Checklist to Your Organisation:

Customise the checklist to fit your organisation’s unique needs. Consider the nature of your business, industry-specific risks, and previous incident reports to create a comprehensive and targeted audit checklist.

Conducting a Workplace Safety Audit

Once you have developed a tailored checklist, it’s time to conduct the workplace safety audit. Here’s a step-by-step process to guide you through the assessment:

1. Pre-Audit Preparation:

  • Notify all relevant stakeholders about the upcoming audit, ensuring their cooperation and availability.
  • Gather necessary tools such as the checklist, measuring devices, cameras, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

2. On-Site Inspection

  • Begin by assessing the overall physical condition of the workplace, including structural integrity, lighting, ventilation, and ergonomics.
  • Identify potential hazards such as slippery floors, uneven surfaces, protruding objects, and exposed wiring.
  • Inspect safety equipment and ensure they are properly maintained and accessible, such as fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and emergency exits.
  • Evaluate machinery, tools, and equipment for proper functioning, adequate guarding, and compliance with safety standards.
  • Review electrical systems, identifying potential risks like faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or exposed electrical panels.

3. Employee Training and Procedures:

  • Assess the adequacy of safety training programs and materials provided to employees.
  • Review documented procedures and protocols related to emergency evacuations, incident reporting, and hazard communication.
  • Interview employees to gauge their understanding of safety practices and their ability to identify potential risks.

4. Documentation Review:

  • Evaluate records and documentation related to safety inspections, incident reports, and employee training records.
  • Verify that required permits, licenses, and certifications are up-to-date and accessible.

Analysing Audit Findings and Implementing Corrective Actions

After completing the workplace safety audit, it’s crucial to analyse the findings and develop a plan to address any identified gaps. Follow these steps to ensure the effective implementation of corrective actions:

1. Categorise Findings:

Organise audit findings into categories such as immediate hazards, non-compliance with regulations, training deficiencies, and areas for improvement.

2. Prioritise Corrective Actions

Assign priorities to each finding based on the severity of the risk, potential for harm, and legal compliance requirements. Urgent matters that pose an immediate threat to safety should be addressed promptly.

3. Develop an Action Plan

Create a detailed action plan for each identified gap, outlining specific steps, responsible individuals, and target completion dates. Ensure that the plan is realistic, feasible, and aligned with available resources.

4. Implement Corrective Measures

Execute the action plan by providing necessary resources, training employees, and making required adjustments to processes, equipment, or infrastructure. Monitor progress regularly to ensure timely completion of corrective measures.

Monitoring and Continuous Improvement

Workplace safety should be an ongoing commitment. Establish a system for monitoring safety standards and continuously improving your safety program:

1. Regular Inspections:

Schedule periodic inspections to assess the effectiveness of implemented corrective actions and identify emerging risks or deficiencies.

2. Incident Reporting and Investigation:

Encourage employees to report incidents and near-misses promptly. Conduct thorough investigations to identify root causes and implement preventive measures.

3. Training and Education:

Provide ongoing safety training and education programs to keep employees informed about new hazards, regulations, and best practices.

4. Safety Culture:

Promote a positive safety culture by fostering open communication, recognising and rewarding safe behaviours, and involving employees in safety-related decision-making processes.

How Digital Safety Checklists Improve Safety

safety checklist - digital

Digital safety checklists eliminate the need for manual paperwork and enable real-time data collection.

Digital safety checklists have revolutionised the way organisations manage safety procedures and ensure compliance. Here’s how using digital safety checklists can improve workplace safety:

  1. Enhanced Efficiency and Accuracy: Digital safety checklists eliminate the need for manual paperwork and enable real-time data collection. Employees can quickly and easily complete checklists using mobile devices or tablets, reducing the chances of errors or missed entries. This streamlined process allows for efficient data capture, immediate notifications of non-compliance, and faster resolution of safety issues.
  2. Centralised Data Management: Digital safety checklists provide a centralised platform to store and access safety-related data. All checklist submissions, inspection reports, and corrective actions are stored in a digital database, making it easier to track and analyse safety trends over time. This data-driven approach enables organisations to identify recurring safety issues, implement targeted improvements, and monitor the effectiveness of safety measures.
  3. Real-time Visibility and Accountability: With digital safety checklists, supervisors and safety managers can have real-time visibility into safety activities across the organisation. They can monitor checklist completion, identify areas of non-compliance, and promptly address safety concerns. The digital platform also facilitates assigning and tracking corrective actions, ensuring accountability and timely resolution of identified hazards.
  4. Standardisation and Compliance: Digital safety checklists allow for standardised safety procedures and ensure compliance with industry regulations and internal policies. Organisations can create templates and guidelines for specific tasks or safety inspections, ensuring consistency in safety practices. The digital platform enables easy updates and distribution of revised checklists, ensuring that employees are always working with the most current safety procedures.
  5. Data Analytics and Reporting: Digital safety checklists provide valuable data that can be analysed to gain insights and improve safety performance. Safety managers can generate reports and dashboards to monitor key safety indicators, identify high-risk areas, and make data-driven decisions for proactive risk mitigation. These analytics help organisations identify patterns, prioritise safety initiatives, and continuously enhance their safety programs.

Incorporating digital safety checklists into your safety management system can significantly enhance workplace safety by increasing efficiency, improving data management, ensuring compliance, and enabling data-driven decision-making.

What to Include in Your Safety Audit Checklist?

To conduct a thorough workplace safety audit, it is essential to utilise a comprehensive checklist that encompasses the specific details of your equipment or facility. A well-designed safety audit checklist should not only identify risks associated with work processes and the work environment but also cover fire emergency procedures, permit-to-work procedures, lockout and tagout procedures, lighting, electrical systems, and overall housekeeping, among other factors. By incorporating these components, a comprehensive safety audit checklist ensures a thorough assessment of workplace hazards and safety risks, facilitating the implementation of appropriate corrective actions.

The following are a few examples of the types of questions for your safety audit checklist:

1. General Safety:

  • Are all employees aware of the emergency evacuation procedures?
  • Are emergency exits clearly marked and unobstructed?
  • Are fire extinguishers easily accessible and in proper working condition?
  • Are first aid kits readily available and adequately stocked?
  • Are walking surfaces free from obstructions, spills, or tripping hazards?
  • Are stairways and walkways well-lit and maintained?
  • Are appropriate warning signs displayed in areas with potential hazards?
  • Are safety signs and labels legible and up to date?
  • Are ergonomic guidelines followed to prevent strain or injury?
  • Are material safety data sheets (MSDS) readily available for hazardous substances?
  • Are vehicle and pedestrian management controls followed?

2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • Do employees have access to appropriate PPE for their respective tasks?
  • Are employees trained on the proper use, maintenance, and storage of PPE?
  • Are PPE items in good condition and replaced when damaged or expired?
  • Are eye protection, hearing protection, and respiratory protection available where required?
  • Are safety helmets, gloves, and safety footwear provided as needed?

3. Machinery and Equipment:

  • Are machinery and equipment properly guarded to prevent access to hazardous areas?
  • Are equipment operators adequately trained on safe operation procedures?
  • Are safety interlocks and emergency stops functional and regularly tested?
  • Are tools and equipment properly maintained and inspected for defects?
  • Are lockout/tagout procedures followed when servicing or repairing equipment?
  • Are lifting and hoisting equipment inspected and certified as required?

4. Electrical Safety:

  • Are electrical panels and equipment adequately labelled?
  • Are electrical cords and plugs in good condition without fraying or exposed wires?
  • Are electrical outlets and switches properly covered?
  • Are extension cords used only as temporary solutions, not permanent power sources?
  • Are electrical grounding systems in place and regularly tested?
  • Are employees trained on electrical safety practices and procedures?

3. Chemical and Hazardous Materials:

  • Are hazardous chemicals properly stored, labelled, and secured?
  • Are Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available for all hazardous substances?
  • Are employees trained in the safe handling and storage of hazardous materials?
  • Are proper ventilation systems in place for areas with potential chemical exposure?
  • Are spill response kits readily available in areas where hazardous substances are used or stored?

4. Workplace Ergonomics:

  • Are workstations designed ergonomically to minimise strain and fatigue?
  • Are adjustable chairs and desks provided to accommodate different employee needs?
  • Are employees trained on proper lifting techniques and encouraged to use lifting aids?
  • Are computer screens positioned to reduce glare and minimise eye strain?
  • Are employees encouraged to take regular breaks and stretch during prolonged tasks?

5. Training and Education

  • Are new employees provided with comprehensive safety orientation and training?
  • Are refresher training sessions conducted regularly for all employees?
  • Are safety training records maintained and up to date?
  • Are employees aware of the specific hazards associated with their respective roles?
  • Are employees trained in reporting incidents, near-misses, and safety concerns?

This is just an example of a Workplace Safety Audit Checklist, and it can be customised based on your organisation’s specific needs and industry requirements. Remember to review applicable regulations and standards to ensure compliance during the audit process. Regularly conducting safety audits using a comprehensive checklist will help identify areas for improvement and implement effective corrective actions to create a safer work environment for everyone.


Conducting regular workplace safety audits using a comprehensive safety checklist is a proactive approach to mitigating risks, ensuring compliance, and creating a safe working environment. By following the steps outlined in this blog, organisations can assess safety standards, identify gaps, and implement effective corrective actions. Workplace safety is an ongoing process, and by adopting continuous improvement organisations can maximise safety, compliance, and overall well-being in the workplace

Frequency Asked Questions 

What is a safety audit?2023-05-29T10:57:44+09:30

A safety audit is a systematic assessment of a workplace to evaluate its safety performance, identify potential hazards, assess compliance with safety regulations and standards, and determine the effectiveness of safety programs and procedures.

Why is a safety audit important?2023-05-29T10:57:11+09:30

Safety audits are crucial for maintaining a safe work environment. They help organisations identify safety gaps and risks, prevent accidents and injuries, ensure compliance with regulations, improve safety programs, and demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of employees.

What should be included in a safety audit checklist?2023-05-29T10:56:23+09:30

A safety audit checklist typically includes various aspects of workplace safety, such as general safety practices, emergency procedures, hazard identification, personal protective equipment (PPE), machinery and equipment safety, training and education programs, and compliance with relevant regulations. The checklist should be tailored to the specific needs and risks of the organisation.

Who should conduct a safety audit?2023-05-29T10:55:25+09:30

Safety audits can be conducted by internal personnel, such as safety officers or designated safety teams, or by external consultants with expertise in workplace safety. The key is to ensure that the individuals conducting the audit have the necessary knowledge, experience, and independence to provide an unbiased assessment.

How often should safety audits be conducted?2023-05-29T10:54:45+09:30

The frequency of safety audits can vary depending on factors such as the nature of the industry, the size of the organisation, and regulatory requirements. Generally, safety audits should be conducted on a regular basis, ranging from annually to quarterly or even more frequently for high-risk industries.

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 your checklists, inspections and more ready for 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.

Follow this link if you want to know more about what we do and how we can help or send us a message.

Streamline your safety, compliance & inspection checks with the DIGI CLIP mobile checklist app today.

checklist and inspections app - DIGI CLIP mobile forms

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal, financial, or other professional advice, nor is it intended to replace the advice of a qualified professional. The author and publisher disclaim any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided in this article. Readers are advised to seek the advice of a qualified professional for any specific concerns or questions related to their business operations or compliance with relevant regulations.
By |2023-05-29T11:58:50+09:30May 29th, 2023|Business, Checklists, Compliance, Safety, WHS, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

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