In general, there are three basic types of safety audit. One of the distinct difference between them is the audit coverage or audit scope.
But, before we are going to the detail, I am going to show you some important aspect related to the safety audit.
The Importance of Safety Audit
Safety audit holds an important part of environment, health, and safety (EHS) management system life cycle, which follows a P-D-C-A cycle.
A safety audit is used as a checking tool to measure the safety performance of an organization or company.
Due to its important role, there is no reason for you to be afraid when you are going to face a safety audit. There is no problem at all with the safety audit findings, comments or recommendations that you may get at the end of the audit.
The good news is that, after an audit, you can know for sure with the condition of your safety system.
You will know which items of the safety system that you need to improve.
Types of Safety Audit
We will start with the most basic type of safety audit, i.e. compliance audit.
The compliance audit is done to check whether you have complied with all the applicable safety laws, standards, and other requirements.
The compliance audit can be done by government safety inspector or other external safety auditors. This depends on your country’s safety rules, safety management system, etc.
The second type of safety audit is program audit. The safety auditor will check safety programs implementation that you have planned or is a mandatory program set by the government or other parties.
The third is safety management system audit. This type of safety audit is an overall audit, where the compliance and program will also be conducted at the same time, besides checking the safety management system itself.
OHSAS 18001, ISO 45001 and Responsible Care (RC) safety audits are examples of safety management system audit.
The overall safety management system performance will be inspected regularly based on its standard.
How to Conduct a Safety Audit
After you know the three types of safety audit, the next step is to learn how to conduct a safety audit.
Prior to safety audit process, the safety auditors will send the audit schedule. The schedule mentions audit itinerary, the area that will be audited, audit method, safety standard, auditor names, and the date.
Sometimes, the auditors will send a questionnaire in advance to you. And you have to send it back with necessary supporting documents or evidence.
If the safety audit will be done internally, then you have to prepare internal safety audit checklist that used as a guide for the auditor to do the audit process systematically.
But, before your first audit, as an auditor, you have to understand well about the internal safety audit procedure.
To face an external safety audit, you have to make sure that all the preparations already finished and all previous findings – mainly major and minor findings – have been closed. Normally, the external auditors will check the previous finding before starting the audit process.
Safety Audit Report
At the end of the audit day, safety auditor will issue a safety audit report. It mentions all findings and recommendations that are found during the audit. The finding and recommendation level will depend on safety standard used – OHSAS 18001, ISO 45001, Responsible Care (RC) or else.
This applies also to the internal safety audit. An internal safety audit report will be issued after the audit finished.
There are three types of safety audit: compliance audit, program audit, and management system audit. Regardless of types of safety audit, in truth safety audit plays a very important role in checking your compliance status against laws, consistency in program implementation and overall safety management system performance.