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The benefits of using checklists when doing health and safety audits

by , 13 February 2014
The Department of Labour is getting tough when it comes to workplace safety. The introduction of new construction regulations this week is just proof of that. The best thing you can do to avoid the wrath of the DoL is to conduct health and safety audits, so you can prevent problems before they happen. Continue reading to find out how checklists can help you carry out health and safety audits better.

The Audit Smart Programme says the great thing about health and safety audits is they help you:

  • Identify problems;
  • Measure the progress since your last evaluation;
  • Review compliance with new requirements;
  • Re-prioritise performance improvement efforts; and
  • Establish safety and health programmes that are more effective and efficient.

If you want to ensure you health and safety audits are effective, develop checklists

According to Life Optimizer, in fields like building construction, aviation and medical, the usage of checklists has saved many lives. And in many other fields, it's helped people do things more efficiently and avoid costly mistakes.

The site goes on to say that 'the reason why checklists are good is simple: When you do something that involves multiple steps, it's likely that you would forget one or two of them. Using checklists ensures that you won't forget anything.'

'So, if you do something again and again and want to do it right every time, use a checklist.'

Read on to see how to develop a checklist...


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How do you develop a checklist for your health and safety audit?

A well-developed checklist is a standard item for any auditor. Audit checklists will:

  • Ensure the audit sample you've taken is balanced;
  • Help prepare your audit team;
  • Provide a record of the audit for future reference.

Use these guidelines to prepare your health and safety audit checklist

  • Make sure you understand the relevant documented information.
  • Prepare separate lists for each section or area that you want to audit. For example, have a checklist for housekeeping, Personal Protective Equipment and machinery.
  • Consider the amount of time you'll need for each audit and the key elements you want to assess.

There you have it. Make use of checklists if you want to conduct your health and safety audits effectively.

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