Safety audits | Smart tips for saving lives at work

For most of us, dragging ourselves out of bed in the morning and then fighting traffic to get to work, feels like work itself! I know by the time I pull up outside work, I feel like I’ve already lived a day! My mornings consist of writing on my blog (yes – getting up in the early hours of the morning), getting ready and then getting the kids dressed, packed and dropped off on time. I usually make it into work with only a minute to spare.

Frankly, by the time I get to work – just walking in the door feels like a holiday for a working mum. Work doesn’t feel like work at all compared to my other lives as wife, mother, domestic goddess and taxi driver!

But what if my job was dangerous?

Luckily my job isn’t dangerous. Actually working in marketing is one of the best jobs in the world! I love it. But can you imagine what it would be like to go to work each day, knowing that your job involved potentially dangerous tasks? For some people, the realm of paper cuts, spilt coffee and poor posture while sitting at a desk job like mine is a world away. Instead, heavy lifting, nail guns and working at heights are all a reality. Despite this, everyone has the right to feel safe in their workplace, no matter how risky or physical the job. So how do you ensure that your employees are working in a healthy environment? While you can never really prepare for life’s unpredictability, a safety audit will put your mind at ease. Read on to discover just how important this report is.

What is a safety audit?

When you think of audits, do you conjure up images of number crunching, hours of document checking and people in business attire? The concept of an audit at its heart is a thorough and most importantly, objective inspection of something. A safety audit then, applies this to a workplace health and safety setting. It covers questions such as: Are risk assessments being completed regularly? Have inspections been completed in regards to the quality and maintenance of equipment? Is there a keep reading of items? Have users been adequately trained? By using an independent third-party to complete the audit, you are guaranteeing that personal motives and prejudices are not factors. Safety for all – not productivity or reduced costs – is the ultimate winner.

The law

The 2011 Workplace Health and Safety Act stipulates that all workplaces should be free from hazards. This includes any potential slips, trips, falls, chemical contamination, bullying and excessively loud noises. Lawfully, you have a duty of care to your employees. You are responsible for their wellbeing.

A safety audit allows you to identify the dangers that exist in your workplace, including issues that you never even considered. It is then up to you to eliminate these dangers. For example, do your employees work at great heights? If the answer is yes, then you are responsible for implementing fall prevention systems that will reduce the dangers involved. This could mean installing hand railings, balustrades, attic ladders, hatches, harnesses, lanyards and hard hats. Don’t forget to also have the relevant inductions, training, and plans for emergency situations. Businesses such as Safe @ Heights can complete an in depth height safety audit and then recommend the right height safety system and procedures for your workplace.

Saving lives

At the end of the day, people’s lives are on the line. All too often we read about stories of workplace injuries and mortalities that could have been prevented if health and safety measures had been introduced. A safety audit can only improve the working conditions for your employees, so why not complete one today? Are you willing to risk lives to save some money?

What do you think? Have you completed a safety audit on your workplace? Do you have a workplace health and safety story to share? Whether you agree or disagree with this article, please leave your thoughts and experiences in comments below.