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10 Steps to the perfect health and safety audit

by , 17 February 2016
Did you know, you should never audit your own system for an extended period of time as you may become complacent and overlook risks? The success of your audit depends on how well you know it, and have prepared for it. Here's 10 steps you need to take to guarantee the perfect health and safety risk management audit...

You know the saying, 'a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing'? In health and safety, this is sometimes scarily applicable. For example, you know it's good business practice to conduct an audit once a year, so you do it annually.

But did you know, you should never audit your own system for an extended period of time as you may become complacent and overlook risks? It's critical to involve a competent third party audit team to determine and confirm the status of your health and safety risk management system.

Are you missing anything else?

There could be other points in the process you didn't know about.   

The success of your audit depends on how well you know it, and have prepared for it. Today. I want to ensure you know each of the 10 steps you need to take to guarantee the perfect health and safety risk management audit…

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10 Steps to the perfect health and safety audit

Step #1: Plan and prepare!

You'll need to perform the following/have the following information to plan and prepare properly:

•    A standard audit procedure
•    Notify all parties in writing
•    Have the company information handy before starting
•    Get your team together (if you aren't outsourcing)
•    Review your previous audits
•    Look at the statistics
•    Know your health and safety legislation
•    Plan your time
•    Know your PPE requirements

Step #2: Arrange an informal meeting for the audit team

Identify key role players and spend some social time together before the audit formally kicks off.

Step #3: Review the overall handling of incidents on site

This step of the process evaluates the overall handling of incidents on site. The audit team must review:

•    The details on the incident reporting system on site
•    Your incident register and the completeness of entries
•    COID claims and completed documentation submitted to the COID Commissioner
•    The investigation of incidents to determine the root causes
•    Action implemented to prevent re-occurrence of the same/similar incidents
•    Follow up on implemented corrective actions to make sure you achieved the desired results
•    The number of employees on site and the number of actual hours the employees have worked
•    The Disabling Incident Frequency Rate (DIFR)

Step #4: Evaluate the process for identifying risks and assessing risks

Step #5: Familiarise yourself with the site-specific requirements

Oops! I've run out of space!


I'm so sorry, but the bulletin format doesn't allow me to carry on any longer! For easy reference, have a look at A02: Auditing your health and safety risk management system of your Health and Safety Advisor Handbook to continue reading steps 6 – 10, and to avoid having only half the information!

In the name of safety,

Louise Harty

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