Health And Safety Audit
Health and Safety Audits, Inspections and Surveys
At the heart of good health and safety practice is an effective approach to management through the plan, do, check and act cycle. Where health and safety becomes an integral part of your business model many benefits are gained in addition to avoiding potential costly consequences of failure to do so. This only needs to be proportionate to the size and scope of the business, so for smaller organisations a simple but comprehensive solution will be appropriate. A full health and safety audit can form a valuable part of this process. Indeed, if you are unsure of where to start or what is required, then an initial inspection and audit can be carried out as an invaluable starting point. A realistic assessment of current standing across your organisation will result in setting achievable targets and actions within a sensible time frame. Where an existing framework already exists in management of health and safety then an audit can provide additional support as external assessment. Inspections and audits can be designed to cover specific areas where competence may be required such as fire safety, chemicals etc. The main benefits provided for management of health and safety are generally covered in 3 areas; moral; legal and financial.
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (or HASAWA for short) legal requirements are imposed on employers and controllers of workplaces. In short, requirements are to ensure that persons are not harmed during their work, or others, by acts or omissions. This extends to any substances, environments and hazards where persons may be in potential contact during their duties. Specific regulations also place duties on employers (and employees) for different types of work and hazards e.g. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) also place specific duties on owners and managers to ensure persons are protected from harm through operations of a business or premises. These include policies and procedures, risk assessments, information, arrangements and assistance. If you have 5 or more employees, these must be in written form.
Moral and Financial
Society places a moral duty on persons in control to ensure that no-one is harmed or suffers ill health through work. This is termed ‘duty of care’ and failure to effectively protect employees and others from reasonably foreseeable death, injury or ill health is backed up by the legal standing of health and safety law.
There are many positive benefits to embracing health and safety as an integral part of your business. These are not limited to:
Improved workforce morale leading to a more effective staff, reduced time off and reduced turnover rates.
A positive business image and reputation.
Reduced chances of accidents or ill-health to avoid costly fines, time spent investigating and complying with notices. In the worst-case scenario, imprisonment can result.
Reduction in insurance premiums from avoiding claims and demonstrating good practice.
Peace of mind that the business is complying with legal requirements.
Avoiding damage to equipment, machinery and premises.
Ensuring staff are on board and have the required information, instruction, supervision and training to effectively perform their roles.
Good health and safety practice starts with knowing where you are. We can advise on what type of audit, inspection or survey is appropriate and act accordingly.
To start receiving the benefits of effective implementation of health and safety in your business, please get in contact to discuss your requirements. We are here to help you and will ensure you have the right type of advice and assistance that is appropriate for your needs.