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When doing a safety compliance audit, you must familiarise yourself with these crucial site-specific requirements

by , 18 March 2015
Today we're going to address two important aspects regarding the health and safety system: The compliance audit and site-specific requirements it needs to look at.

We're doing this because our healthandsafetyclub.co.za has received a deluge of questions asking for clarification on these systems. Read on to find out everything you need to know about them.

Here's how and why you should do a compliance audit

You need to do a compliance audit to assess how compliant you are with your requirements of your site-specific health and safety risk management system.

Know that there are several audit software packages available on the market that you can use to help you with your internal audits. This compliance audit will help you see how effective your system is, and if it is achieving its objectives.

To do a thorough safety aduit, design a testing plan that looks at these seven areas of your workplace:

1. All incident scenes;
2. High risk operations and hazardous tasks;
3. Every department, even if you only spend ten minutes in a low risk department;
4. Cover some remote operations (if it's off site);
5. Departments with a high injury frequency rate must get specific attention;
6. Cover the deepest, highest and remotest areas; and
7. Scan as many areas as possible while continually zoning in on obvious problems or activities with significant risks.

Here's a useful note: It's critical for you to keep and file the testing plan and the findings as working documents for future reference.

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Secondly, bear in mind that you have to familiarise yourself with site-specific requirements to do the audit

You should know that the core requirements of a risk management system don't change much between sites. They generally are: To plan, to do, to check and to act. This also means that your safety audit team needs to know each site's requirements.

These smaller details depend on your site risk profile (you'll get this from your risk assessments) and your site management's approach towards health and safety risk management.

Risk management systems provide the framework to guide, measure and evaluate your health and safety performance. They include:

• Organisation: Structures that indicate roles, responsibilities and reporting structures;
• Guidance: Plans, policies and procedures that provide instructions on how to carry out activities and functions;
• Controls: Inspections, and reviews to ensure performance is consistent with objectives and requirements; and
• Communications: Methods to collect, handle and report information.

Use these two aspects for an improved and more efficient health and safety management system!

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