Health and Safety Audits and Inspections
By law, all organisations that employ five or more people must have a written health and safety policy that outlines potential risks in their workplace and the steps that they will take to control and reduce these risks. Health and safety audits and inspections examine the policies and whether they adequately keep employees safe, and obey official HAS regulations.
Health and Safety inspections can take place for a number of different reasons. It may be as a result of a specific incident where injury or death occurred, or it may be due to evidence that health and safety standards are low. If the workplace is one within a particularly hazardous industry, or an industry where a particular injury is common, inspections may take place. It may simply be a random spot check to ensure that health and safety regulations are being complied with.
During an inspection the health and safety inspector will want to talk to members of staff from a range of different work areas, as well as the employer and heads of departments. In this way they can understand where risks are controlled adequately, and where there could be room for improvement.
Health and safety audits can be carried out by staff or outside independent parties to review existing policies with the aim of improvement. Audits should assess the risks in the workplace, examine whether current risk controls are adequate or could be improved, assess whether health and safety law is being abided by, look into accident, injury and illness date to discover what areas are the least safe, and directly question staff to discover where they feel risks need to be controlled. Audits should be carried out regularly, and particularly in large organisations or in hazardous industries where workplace risks are likely to be high