Audit & Review
Health and safety auditing is a type of active monitoring that forms a key part of an effective health and safely management system. An important feature of auditing is that it is conducted by those who have no direct involvement in the management of health and safety in the business (or department) being audited.
This makes auditing very different from other types of health and safety monitoring. It's objective, independent and therefore provides a different perspective. Health and safety auditors are not usually phased by the opinions of upper management or swayed by any pressure they might try to exert to obtain a favourable audit score.
Generally, there are three different types of audit; first party, second party and third party.
First Party Audits
These are audits that are either carried out by staff working within the organisation, or by a health and safety consultant working on behalf of the organisation. The audit will scrutinise how effective the organisation is at achieving the health and safety objectives it has set for itself.
Second Part Audits
These are audits that a customer or client will conduct (or a health and safety consultant will conduct on their behalf) on a potential supplier or contractor. This is done in order to determine the effectiveness and robustness of the potential supplier/contractors health and safety arrangements, prior to the customer/client making them part of their supply chain.
Third Party Audits
These are audits that are carried out by accredited certification bodies such as the British Standards Institute and Bureau Veritas to recognised standards such as ISO 45001. The certification body will send an auditor (or team of auditors) to conduct the audit on an external basis, meaning that the auditor(s) must have had no involvement in the management of health and safety for the business. What often happens is that the business will obtain help preparing for accreditation from a separate health and safety consultant independent from the certification body in order to maintain impartiality.
Health and safety audits can be very appealing to external stakeholders such as insurers, investors or potential clients as they can provide reassurance that the health and safety arrangements that a company has in place have been subject to formal scrutiny.
If you need help with any of the audit types discussed above, or even if you would like help to develop your own bespoke audit system for your business, please get in touch with us to start the conversation.