It is in an organisations duty of care to have formal procedures for auditing and reporting health and safety performance. Audits allow companies to protect employees and customers from harm and a correctly conducted audit can ultimately protect a company. They are a positive management tool and each company should operate within their legal obligations for health and safety.
All companies should have procedures for auditing and reporting health and safety performance as this allows them to safeguard against health and safety concerns.
The end result of an audit is to ensure that companies are working effectively and to evaluate and improve their health and safety as well as ensuring they are compliant.
Duties and Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of a company to ensure they have an up to date, thorough and correct health and safety procedure. This is then audited by either an internal or external auditor. They will ensure that the procedures in place are being followed and kept current in order keep staff and customers safe. It is the responsibility of either management or a designated health and safety officer to make sure these procedures are being followed and any incidents reported in a timely and precise manner.
Performing checks and reviewing findings
Audit checks are a way to identify any errors in a health and safety procedure. It is done to comply with health and safety regulations and to ensure every member of staff is following the rules and practices put in place to create a safe working environment. It is essential to perform checks and review the findings so organisations can see their short falls and how they can improve for the safety of their stakeholders. It is aimed at improving quality and reducing risks to the company, their staff and customers.
Reporting health and safety performance
According to a study by the HSE (2001) the main purpose of reporting health and safety performance is to provide information on progress and the current state of procedures used by a company to control the risks associated with health and safety. Reporting on health and safety performance controls the risk to a company by enabling the development of the health and safety department, identifying areas of improvement and providing feedback and motivation.
Legal compliance obligations
It is a companies’ legal obligation to adhere to multiple laws in order to maintain a safe working environment. These include The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These laws are there to keep us safe and to ensure that organisations reduce risks to staff and customers. It is a legal duty to monitor, maintain and review all matters of health and safety and by completing audits successfully an organisation is demonstrating it is pro-actively managing their health and safety in accordance to legislation. An audit will also act as a suitable defence in a court of law should any proceedings be brought upon a company.
Internal and external auditors
External audits are conducted by an outside agency while internal audits are conducted by the employees of an organisation. Either way a company is audited, the auditor will look at three things – conformance, record-keeping and training. If a company is audited by and internal member of staff, they are required to have the correct training and qualifications before they can perform a thorough and concise audit. The advantage to having an internal auditor is that there is greater control over the process, and it can minimise disruption and is a lower cost alternative. It is useful management tool to have an effective internal audit as it enhances everyone’s understanding of how the company is performing and highlights any problems.
How can Abbott Rose help?
Here at Abbott Rose Consulting, we can carry out these audits and provide reports that highlight both good practices, and if required, guidance on where further improvement is required. We can carry out these audits either in house or as accredited advisors. Our reports can also be used to guide your Safe System of Work and improve compliance. If you have a requirement for an audit and review, please get in touch with us today on 01832 279500 or fill out our contact form online here and we would be happy to help.
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