Health and Safety Audit and Consultancy
Health and Safety Compliance Audits may not be a legal obligation but compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act is. The easiest way to ensure compliance is by having a health and safety audit conducted and backed by a consultancy company that is a partner of SafetyWallet.
It is an expert assessment of the health and safety programme and operations. Even though employers are not legally required, they are highly recommended.
Frequent health and safety compliance audits is considered the best practise for all companies, despite their size, type, industry, or nature of business. Audits are more than just an exercise where boxes are ticked, and they are also more than a defensive measure.
They offer a multitude of benefits to the employer and its employees. Health and Safety compliance audits allow employers to protect their employees and customers from harm.
Ultimately, when conducted correctly, it can also safeguard the very existence of the company itself. This is due to the consequences of serious health and safety incidents which may result in prosecution, which can cause severe reputational damaged and lead to substantial financial penalties.
There are two different ways in which audits can be conducted, namely internally and externally.
Internal health and safety audits versus external health and safety audits
Internal health and safety audits involve at least one team member who has the correct training and qualifications to conduct an audit. Most audits consist of several role-players representing different segments of the business.
An in-house, or internal, audit has the advantage that there is more control over the process and thus, it can take place in phases without much disruption. It also offers a lower cost alternative, but it is often used by businesses as a classic false economy.
These internal audits also serve as a useful management tool and it enhances every employee’s understanding of business performance along with highlighting potential issues.
However, external health and safety audits are often the gold standard. This is where a company appoints an external auditor through a health and safety audit consultancy like SafetyWallet. The external auditor is then tasked with conducting the audit and providing feedback on findings.
Why should you make use of Health and Safety Audit Consultancy?
Health and Safety Audit and consultancy services are professional and recognised as one of the most effective ways in which to ensure that health and safety programme reflect the relevant legislative requirements.
It also ensures that all health and safety standards are met and that the company can work towards the best health and safety practice techniques and that they are implemented effectively.
Benefits of Health and Safety Audit Consultancy
When considering that Health and Safety Audit Consultancy involves getting an external auditor to conduct the audit, the following benefits can be highlighted:
- Compliance as the main benefit, as it is the predominant reason for conducting a health and safety audit.
- Business and system improvements – through an in-depth audit, it allows for an impartial look at the internal systems and control of the organisation. It allows auditing experts to suggest improvements.
- Credibility – by having an external audit, it provides an independent verification that information, documents, and all other aspects are true and a fair representation of the organisation’s current situation.
How SafetyWallet can Support You
SafetyWallet offers a unique subscription programme and the use of experts to guide businesses through the latest changes in standards as well as legislation.
SafetyWallet has a dedicated, experienced, and highly competent team of consultants that work across all industries in South Africa. The audit team will help in navigating the health and safety risk management principles in daily business operations.
In addition, the team will also help to identify strengths while pinpointing weaknesses and highlighting any opportunities to improve risk management in safety, health, and environmental aspects.
The health and safety compliance audit process which can be expected is as follows:
- The SafetyWallet auditor will review all the aspects of the health and safety programme. It will be measured against the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, regulations, and all other applicable legislation, National Standards, By-laws, and SafetyWallet audit protocol.
- The effectiveness associated with the implementation of such arrangements will be assessed through the inspection of the premises and the sampling of various operational activities.
- Key personnel such as management and staff will also be interviewed during the Health and Safety compliance audit. The aspects of occupational health and safety which is relevant to their roles and responsibilities will also be discussed confidentially.
- After the audit has been conducted, the SafetyWallet auditor will compile the audit report and present it to the management team. During this, the strengths as well as areas for improvement in the OHS programme will be discussed.
- The audit report will also provide observations as well as recommendations, and an action plan for consideration.
Upon the successful completion of the Health and Safety Compliance Audit, a SafetyWallet Grading Certificate will be rewarded. This certificate is valid for one year and businesses are urged to have another audit conducted at their premises, as according to legal stipulations.
There are many conditions which can change within a year, with new hazards that may occur in the workplace and it is for this reason that yearly assessments must be conducted.
When having a SafetyWallet Health and Safety Compliance Audit done, the following can be expected:
- Legally compliant workplaces
- Experienced auditors who will identify any gaps in the OHS programme.
- Adequate client feedback after every follow-up visit and updates to the client on the workplace compliance rate.
- Regularly updated audit protocols, ensuring that workplaces remain legally compliant.
- The issuing of compliance certificates on an annual basis.
SafetyWallet Health and Safety Grading Levels
The SafetyWallet Health and Safety Grading Levels is determined as follows:
- 92% to 100% - Excellent, with best practice verified in most of the elements.
- 85% - 91.9% - Very good, with best practice verified in several elements.
- 75% - 84.9% - Good, with best practice verified in a few elements.
- 60% - 74.9% - Adequate, with significant improvements required to achieve best practice.
50% - 59.9% - Less than adequate, with extensive improvements required to achieve best practice
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