Among restaurants, manufacturing, and retail, there are a wide variety of jobs and functions that people do today. The workplace can be a hectic hive of activity and it’s important that employees are aware of the safety guidelines and laws that keep them safe. Safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility and everyone should know all the policies and best practices in the workplace. Every place of business should have a safety program, and everyone should know how to conduct a safety audit.
The Purpose of an Audit
A safety audit is designed to assist the management and the employees in preventing illnesses, injuries, and fatalities. The audit is specific to each place of business, as they all have their own safety hazards and risks inherent to their industry. General rules and guidelines are universal, but each business should have an audit tailor-made for their operation. The main goal is to identify health and safety risks in each business, so that they can be either removed or improved.
A General Inspection
When starting the safety audit, a walkthrough is done first. The auditor will walk through the business and look for any risks. This could be simple things like an overloaded wall outlet, a pallet lying in the floor, fire hazards, or loose wiring hanging from the ceiling. Anything that looks dangerous or out of place is noted for later addition to the audit form.
Do a Walkthrough
Knowing how to conduct a safety audit means knowing what to look for. Each business has its own set of risks, so the audit should be done by someone with knowledge of the business. The auditor should have a checklist of dangerous areas in the building and previous failures on past inspections. They should walk to each department and check items off the list to ensure compliance. Machines should be inspected for safety guards and proper functions. There should be no alterations to machines that decrease their safe operation. Checking fire extinguishers and assuring the proper storage of hazardous chemicals and foodstuffs is also important. Anything that is a potential safety risk should be on the audit list and checked off.
Make Necessary Changes
Any part of the safety audit that fails should be addressed immediately. The idea behind the safety audit is to make sure the business is compliant with all laws and that it’s a safe place to work. If the emergency eyewash station is faulty or a stack of pallets is too high, those need immediate attention. Have all the failures fixed and then checked again and signed off.
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