Thinking of conducting a Health and Safety Audit?
You may feel you’re managing health and safety appropriately, but is there something at the back of your mind that your’re not fully confident about?
Knowing how to perform a health and safety audit can be difficult, but with health and safety auditing from Ellis Whittam’s network of qualified health and safety consultants, you can rest assured knowing that your risk is being appropriately managed.
Duty of Care and Auditing
Employers have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and others who might be affected by their activities. In doing so, all health and safety matters and arrangements must be monitored, maintained and reviewed.
Indeed, health and safety issues can change over time.
A health and safety audit ensures that any changes in law are reflected in how you manage Health & Safety.
What exactly is a health and safety audit?
It’s defined by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as:
“The collection of independent information on the efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of the total health and safety management system and drawing up plans for corrective action”.
This may sound complex, but put simply, a safety audit is a process that checks your compliance with health and safety regulations.
It also looks at how effective you are at practicing what you preach. Safety audits, then, are comparable to financial audits – they evaluate compliance and performance.
Health and Safety Auditing Aims
A health and safety audit checklist would generally look to:
- Assess whether current safety processes and procedures align with the law;
- Identify risks in the workplace (as well as the levels of those risks);
- Identify arrangement strengths and weaknesses (sooner problems are identified and addressed, the better);
- Reveal where and how to make improvements;
- Ensure health and safety resources are adequate and used effectively;
- Remove unsafe practices and hazards; and
- Assess if a proper performance review system is in place.
Who Should Conduct a Health and Safety Audit
There are two ways to audit your organisation – you can use an external auditor or you can audit yourself internally.
However, the auditor needs to be independent of the activity or part of the organisation being audited. Also, if the audit is not carried out by a professional auditor, there will be a higher chance that errors and problems won’t be detected.
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 say employers must have health and safety assistance from a ‘Competent Person’.
In other words, whoever does the audit must have the training, experience or knowledge be able to make sure you’re complying with health and safety law.
Get Specialist Help
Safety audits are essential in making sure you’re complying with the law.
Workplace injuries are also, more often than not, the result of minor issues that could have been detected by an audit.
But if you don’t feel you have sufficient competence in the audit process, then let Ellis Whittam’s Health & Safety Team audit for you.
Our IOSH qualified Health & Safety Auditors are tailored to meet your precise needs – they can be desktop only or can include site visits to check premises, practices and policies.
Following the assessment, we produce a report detailing our observations and recommendations, including guidance on how to make any required improvements.
Our Health & Safety specialists can also:
- Act as your ‘Competent Person’;
- Carry out risk assessments; and
- Create your health and safety policy.
Health & Safety Audit Software
As part of our core Health & Safety service, our Health & Safety Software will revolutionise your approach to auditing.
Use the power of this intuitive tool to integrate with your organisation and pull your data into one risk status indicator.
Compliance at the click of a button.
Chief Executive, English Rural Housing Association
Why Ellis Whittam?
Health and safety law is huge, complex and constantly changes.
While there’s no shortage of Health & Safety Consultants to help you develop your health and safety systems, ask yourself, how robust is their knowledge of the law?
Talk to the Professionals
At Ellis Whittam, we only employ consultants with the best qualifications and vast experience in the field, making them best placed to keep your organisation on the right side of the law.
Contact us for more information.
Health and Safety Guides
How do I go about creating a Health & Safety Handbook?
As the purpose of producing a Health & Safety Handbook is to communicate your policies and procedures to employees, you should refer to your Health & Safety Policy as a starting point.
As a general structure, your Health & Safety Handbook should outline the potential health and safety hazards present in your workplace, explain the responsibilities placed on employees under Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974, and provide information on how specific tasks should be carried out.
Don’t have the time or expertise to produce this yourself? Ellis Whittam can create a Health & Safety Policy tailored to your business.
What does Health & Safety Software actually do?
If you’re tired of managing health and safety manually, struggling to keep on top of what’s required, and unsure whether you’re compliant, then our award-winning Health & Safety Software might be the solution you’re looking for.
This easy-to-use dashboard allows you to manage all of your responsibilities in one place and get a clear picture of how you’re performing. Functions include monitoring and controlling the actions identified in your risk assessment, recording and investigating accidents and incidents, and the ability to view your risk status in real time monitoring. You can also replace reams of paperwork with an online filing cabinet of important documentation, and receive automatic alerts when your certificates and documents are due for renewal.
How often do I need to conduct a risk assessment?
It is not sufficient to conduct a risk assessment of your premises when starting out and simply assume everything is working fine from then on.
It is good practice to review your risk assessments at least annually to account for changes within your workplace. Risk assessments must also be reviewed after accidents or near misses occur (as this would suggest something isn’t working as it should), whenever new equipment or substances are introduced (as this could lead to new hazards), and when significant changes in personnel or working practices occur (as this may mean there are gaps in knowledge or responsibility).
What are the benefits of outsourcing health and safety management?
Getting to grips with the complexities of health and safety legislation can be a real demand on your time and resources. If you don’t have the time or expertise, it can feel like an impossible task.
Outsourcing your health and safety management to Ellis Whittam takes the pressure off. Not only does our fixed-fee support offer a smart alternative to self-employed health and safety consultants who charge by the hour and a level of expertise that your in-house responsible person may lack, but we will even act as your legally-required competent person – giving you complete confidence in your compliance.
What does a Health & Safety Policy need to include?
Typically, a Health & Safety Policy is broken down into three areas:
- A Policy Statement of Intent, which details your health and safety aims and objectives, how you intend to manage health and safety issues, and your health and safety performance targets.
- The organisation of health and safety, which states the names, positions and duties of those within your organisation who have specific responsibility for health and safety.
- Arrangements for health and safety, which contains your health and safety rules and procedures, risk assessments, fire and emergency arrangements, and information on instruction, training and supervision.