The Impact of Safety Audits on Your Organization
Safety audits are an essential component of a comprehensive safety system. Audits can be conducted by different levels of an organization to analyze multiple aspects of the system. Historically, audits have been used to assess compliance with regulatory agencies and company policies; however, there is also a need to go beyond regulations and policies to better understand what motivates your workforce to want to work more safely. The overall goal of safety audits is to identify and reduce risk in the workplace.
Safety audits are a great leading indicator for your program, whether you’re tracking the quantity of your audits, the content of your audits or both. At Faith Technologies, the outcomes of our audits are used to:
- Gauge employee participation level on a jobsite and company level
- Identify hazard trends
- Understand safety culture and morale
- Utilize data to strategically predict the probability of future incidents
- Ensure compliance with regulatory agencies
A safety audit plan should be created by analyzing your loss data, with focus on areas that have a significant impact on your employees and organization. A team approach to this process is always ideal. Consider utilizing the expertise of your front-line employees to best understand their day-to-day exposures. It’s also important to have input from people with extensive knowledge of regulatory requirements to ensure full compliance.
When conducting an audit, it’s essential to engage the workforce being audited. By opening a dialogue and sharing the content of the audit, it gives the employees involved a better understanding of how they can make a positive impact on the jobsite. If the auditor identifies a situation that’s not in compliance, it’s essential to discuss the situation with the employee(s) involved to develop a plan for future compliance.
With clear communication, training and goals for safety audits, your organization can gather data to identify predictive indicators and then develop a plan to reduce risk on the jobsite. When the auditor and involved employees have an open mind and communicate their methodology and concerns, you increase your buy-in and success rate for long-term compliance.