Why is a Health and Safety compliance Audit important?
It is important that the SafetyWallet Health and Safety Audit is to identify any health and safety deviations in the management system, along with managing of health and safety, and the audit determines the level of compliance of an employer according to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act requirements.
In addition to this, the SafetyWallet Health and Safety Compliance Grading audit also rewards employers according to their level of compliance. It also encourages employers to make a conceited effort towards becoming fully compliant.
Employers and their Health and Safety compliance responsibility
Where the audit is concerned, employers are not legally obliged to conduct a health and safety audit. However, employers are legally required to ensure that they comply with OHSA in ensuring a healthy and safe workplace.
A Health and Safety Compliance Audit may not be a legal obligation, but it is highly recommended. This is due to the in-depth level according to which an employer’s compliance can be determined and therefore improved.
Regular health and safety audits are recognized for being best practice for employers despite their industry, sector, type, or size. It is much more than a box-ticking exercise and they are beneficial in numerous ways, both to the employer and employees.
The prime objective of a health and safety audit is to protect employees and any other persons entering the workplace from harm. Ultimately, however, an audit which is effectively conducted can safeguard the company’s very existence.
This is due to the prosecution that may result from serious health and safety incidents. This can bring severe reputational damage to a company and may result in substantial financial penalties.
In-house versus outsourced audits
An element of Health and Safety Compliance Audits is that they can be conducted either internally or by an external auditor. It is imperative to explore the differences between these audits. It allows an employer to choose which one will suit them and their health and safety goals better.
When conducting an internal audit, it is imperative that the audit is led by a member of staff who has the right training and qualifications, often a MAKROSAFE Health and Safety qualification is obtain.
One of the predominant advantages of conducting an internal audit is that it allows for greater control over the process. It also allows for the audit to be conducted in phases to, for instance, minimise any disruptions.
In addition, it may also be more cost-effective to conduct an internal audit. However, the consensus is that an unsuitable internal audit represents a classic false economy.
Despite this, when a health and safety audit is conducted effectively, it can prove to be an especially useful management tool. It can help to enhance every person’s understanding of how the business performs and highlight any potential problems before an incident occurs.
An external audit remains the gold standard as it is aligned with the South Africa’s Best Practice which specifically calls for an independent assessment to be done on an employer’s safety management systems.
Apart from being unbiased and objective, an external audit offers the benefit of handing the task over to independent experts such as SafetyWallet. It offers the opportunity for the company to be benchmarked against any peers or rivals, using recognised standards.
SafetyWallet Health and Safety Compliance Audit overview
As part of its extensive offer to employers, and subsequent members, SafetyWallet’s Health and Safety Compliance Audit consists of an in-depth examination of the employers entire Health and Safety Management System.
While focusing on the key elements involved in managing the Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace, members are also offered with a structured path and consistent and efficient improvement towards OHS compliance and best practice status.
SafetyWallet’s audit is hosted with the aim at driving Health and Safety Cloud-based Management Systems, OHS Online. This is done by using industry experience which is both extensive and worldwide.
Steps in the SafetyWallet Health and Safety Compliance Audit
The process, which is followed during the audit, are as follows:
- The appointed SafetyWallet auditor and audit team review various elements of the Health and Safety Programme against OHSA requirements, regulations, and all other relevant legislation.
- The effectiveness of the implementation of these arrangements are assessed followed by an inspection of the workplace and the sampling of operational activities.
- Relevant management, staff, and SafetyWallet Partners are then interviewed, and the roles and responsibilities of participants are discussed.
- Once the audit has been concluded, the SafetyWallet auditor will provide and present the audit report to the SafetyWallet subscriber arrangement team.
- In this audit report observations and recommendations will be provided to the employer along with an action plan of recommendation and solutions.
After the audit has been conducted, and the premises have been found without any risk, potential future risks, hazards, and it meets all the relevant standards, the employer will be declared legally compliant.
This also entails the issuing of a Health and Safety Compliance Certificate which is valid for one year. It is therefore imperative that employers and companies ensure that they have annual Health and Safety Compliance Audits conducted to ensure continuous compliance.
Why should you use a SafetyWallet auditor to conduct your audit?
SafetyWallet offers its subscribers, in association with OHS consultants and MAKROSAFE, a professional audit team which will help the member navigate health and safety risk principles which can be found in day-to-day business operations.
The audit team works to identify strengths as well as pinpoint any weaknesses. Opportunities to improve everyday health and safety risk management is also highlighted.
In having an experienced SafetyWallet auditor conducting the Health and Safety Compliance audit, both the company/employer as well as the employees can benefit greatly. Employers can also rest assured that they have the required support and assistance needed for continuous compliance maintenance and improvement.
With the SafetyWallet Health and Safety Compliance Audit, the following can be expected:
- An 80% discount on your health and safety audit.
- Workplaces which are legally compliant.
- The use of experienced auditors who can identify any gaps within the OHS programme.
- Client feedback after each follow-up visit to ensure that the employer is updated on the compliance rate of their workplace.
- Regularly updated audit protocols, ensuring that workplaces remain compliant, and
- Annual issuing of a compliance certificate.
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