Health and Safety Compliance Audit
When it comes to evaluating a business’ health and safety performance, health and safety compliance audits are fundamental.
If your health and safety compliance audit consist of inspections, and interrogations, you’ve either had terrible experiences or you can expect the worst feedback and false health and safety report.
Health and Safety audits should not be a policing process. They are key for finding out where your safety performance currently sits, and where it needs to be – as per the agreed parameters. So, think of them as a positive learning opportunity to improve the health and safety of your organisation.
Health and Safety Compliance means that an employer conforms to a rule, such as a specification, policy, standard, or law. In this case, the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Health and Safety Compliance is a prevalent business concern.
This is partly due to the ever-increasing number of regulations. These require businesses to be vigilant in maintaining a full and working understanding of their requirements towards regulatory compliance.
Although OHS strategies may differ across industries, legitimate business with employees must have a proper safety programme in place. Legislation exist to govern the way in which businesses operate and in South Africa, this is dictated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Thus, employers, despite the industry, size, or nature of business of the company, have legal duties towards their employees. These duties are stipulated in Section 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Employers are responsible to provide employees with a workplace which does not pose any risk to the health and safety of employees. In addition, according to Section 14 of the same Act, employees are also tasked with the duty of ensuring that they safeguard their own health and safety along with that of fellow employees.
Employees are therefore required to follow all health and safety procedures implemented by their employers.
Employees may only perform work in an environment which has been declared free of risk and hazards, thus requiring employers to take the necessary steps in ensuring that the workplace remains free of such risks and hazards.
The purpose of the SafetyWallet Health and Safety compliance audit is to ensure that the workplace that an employer provides abides by the requirements as stipulated in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Workplace health and safety aims at implementing, promoting, and maintaining the highest level of health and safety of those who work there, and those who visit the premises.
It also involves preventing working conditions from contributing to, or causing, adverse health issues, injuries, or illnesses. These challenges are often faced by involving Health and Safety professionals and once the necessary steps are taken to ensure that the workplace is safe and healthy to work in, employees can maintain these standards.
Apart from conducting a health and safety compliance audit, it is imperative to ensure that the following is in place:
- Easy access to the OHS Act
- Health and Safety policies
- Risk Assessment
- Proper and effective Personal Protective Equipment
- Proper and thorough maintenance of machinery and access control to machines
- Health and Safety training
- Health and Safety appointees
- Injury on duty, or IOD, reports
When is a Health and Safety Compliance Certificate Issued?
A Health and Safety Compliance Certificate is only issued after a Health and Safety compliance audit has been conducted and the business, or employer, is compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Health and Safety in the workplace involve the identification, mitigation, and elimination, where practicably possible, of hazards and risks that could cause an incident or harm to individuals.
There are many ways in which the level of health and safety in a workplace can be determined. Health and Safety Inspections can be done by OHS appointees but to do an in-depth examination of compliance, businesses are urged to have a SafetyWallet Health and Safety compliance audit conducted.
Once the subscriber is found compliant, they will be presented with their Health and Safety Compliance Certificate.
How Long is a Health and Safety Compliance Certificate Valid for?
The Health and Safety Compliance Certificate is only valid for a year. Once a Health and Safety compliance audit has been conducted and a certificate is issued, another audit must be conducted within a year to have the certificate issued once more.
What to Expect from Safety Wallet’s Health and Safety Compliance Audit
Once a business becomes a SafetyWallet subscriber, they can book a health and safety audit. During the audit, the SafetyWallet auditor will review all aspects of the health and safety programme of the subscriber.
These will be weighed against the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations, along with other applicable legislation, National Standards and By-laws as well as SafetyWallet audit protocol.
The SafetyWallet auditor will also assess how effective the implementation of these arrangements is by inspecting the premises and sampling operational activities. Various key personnel will also be interviewed, followed by a confidential discussion of their roles, responsibilities, and aspects of occupational health and safety.
As soon as the audit is completed, the SafetyWallet auditor will compline an audit report and present it to the SafetyWallet subscriber management team. In the report, observations, and recommendations as well as action planning for consideration will be highlighted.
In addition, when having a SafetyWallet Compliance Audit Conducted, the following can be expected:
- Workplaces which are legally compliant.
- Auditors who are qualified, experienced, and professional who are tasked with identifying gaps in the OHS programme.
- Client feedback which is given after each follow-up visit. The client will also be updated on the compliance rate of the workplace.
- Regularly updated audit protocols to ensure that there is consistent compliance in the workplace.
- The annual issuing of compliance certificates.
There are numerous benefits to both the company/employer and the employees when appointing a SafetyWallet auditor to conduct the audit. In addition to this, employers can rest assured knowing that they have the necessary tools and assistance to improve on their continuously and consistently OHS compliance.
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