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Do you know the difference between a safety audit and an inspection?

by , 04 August 2014
Maintaining safety is all about constant assessment. You need to watch, ask questions, investigate and document everything to ensure you always comply with OHS Act laws.

But when it comes to doing this, there's two difference ways of getting the information you need: A safety audit and an inspection.

But if you don't know the difference you may confusion them and struggle with the mixed-up processes. So here's the difference between a health and safety audit and an inspection so you can do both effectively...

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This is what a health and safety audit is

A safety audit, if a DoL inspector is the one doing it, is an external audit. This is so the DoL can assess your compliances with the law. When they do the audit they look at your attempts to implements health and safety measures and to fix problems.
When you do a safety audit on your own company it's an internal audit. You can do this to ensure your company has complied with health and safety laws before the DoL does it for you and enables you to stop and fix any problems. 
During an audit you'll ask particularly questions to assess how well you've implemented your health and safety programme and if it's working.
So then what's an inspection?

This is what a health and safety inspection is

A health and safety inspection is a check you do to identify the hazards and risks. You don't ask any questions during this process.
You just have to watch and assess the work your employees do. You'll have to check what you see against the documentation you have for your health and safety programme. This'll help you identify what problems exist in your programme.
Now that you know the difference, ensure you do both correctly. They'll help you protect your employees and ensure you're always legally compliant. 
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