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Warning: If your internal safety audit doesn't help you achieve these eight things, it's useless

by , 09 May 2014
You must conduct an internal safety audit to evaluate your Health and Safety Risk Management systems. If you don't, you're breaking the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and putting your employees at risk. But just conducting an internal safety audit isn't enough. Here are eight things your internal audit must achieve to truly minimise risks and comply with the OHSA...


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Four types of internal audits you need to conduct

Before we get to the eight things your internal safety audit must achieve, let's take a look at the four types of internal audits you need to do:

  1. Baseline audit. This is the first audit you do on your risk management system.
  2. Consultative audit. In this audit, your audit team performs the audit and presents their findings.
  3. Systems audit. This is a formal audit where you evaluate your systems to establish your level of compliance and how effective it is.
  4. Legal compliance audit. This audit tells you if you're meeting the necessary legal requirements.

Now that you know the different types of internal safety audits, it's time to find out what you must achieve when you conduct them.


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Your internal safety audit must help you achieve the following

The Health & Safety Advisor says your internal safety audit must:

#1: Determine how compliant you are with risk management and health and safety laws;

#2: Check how effective your risk management system is;

#3: See if your current risk management system has room for improvement;

#4: Assess the ability of your current health and safety risk management system, to make sure you comply with the OHSA going forward;

#5: See if there's been any progress in your system since your previous audit;

#6: Provide auditor's knowledge on best practices;

#7: Determine the status of your risk management system through a standardised quantification system; and

#8: Show management's commitment to health and safety.

If you don't achieve these eight things with your internal safety audit, go back to the drawing board. Only then can you ensure your audit is more effective.

These are just the basics to safety auditing. There's so much more you need to know. For example, a step by step guide to conduct an audit, how to prepare for an audit and the various checklists you must use, be sure to check out Audit Smart. It contains all the info you need to comply with the OHSA and minimise risks in your workplace.

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