From factories to schools, safety is of the utmost importance for every business and organization. Not only is it in the best interest of your employees and guests, in many cases there are laws regulating safety standards for many industries. This means you need to set forth and follow proper protocols and procedures that maximize the safety of your workplace – all without sacrificing efficiency.
This is where safety audits come in. They examine the areas and aspects of your organization where safe practices are started and maintained, from upper management to employees. It will address things like press brake safety, which you can learn more about in this course. We’ll also be making several mentions of efficiency throughout the article, so if you want to get a better understanding of technical efficiency to help supplement what you read here, this blog post is here to help.
Who Needs It
Despite what you may be thinking, safety audits aren’t just for dangerous plants filled with heavy machinery or hazardous chemicals. Your workers or clients may not be in constant danger on a daily basis but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay attention to your overall safety practices. Things like proper fire safety and emergency evacuation procedures are crucial for any business. There may be hazards you didn’t even know existed without a proper evaluation.
If you’re a restaurant or otherwise handle and serve food or drinks, you’ll want to make sure you’re enforcing proper safety protocols in that regard – both for your guests and employees. A less than perfect health code rating could be a huge blow to business. Besides a safety audit, this course will give you a in-depth rundown of proper food safety practices.
What It Accomplishes
One of the main benefits of a safety audit is ensuring that your company’s safety standards are in accordance with those established by any governing body you may answer to in your industry. These are things that, if ignored, could lead to your organization being fined, poorly graded, or worse – shut down. Staying up-to-date with the proper regulations independently will help you avoid any of these worst case scenario situations.
Beyond that, high safety standards will make employees eager to work with you, customers more willing to buy from you, and otherwise elevate your company’s status within your industry. Many of the most efficient and profitable names in business hold themselves to a high standard in all areas, especially when it comes to safety.
When Should You Get One
Many company’s have a safety audit conducted yearly. This is generally a pretty good idea, though depending on the type of organization you’re overseeing and how extensive the audit needs to be, it could end up being a pretty lengthy process. Don’t let this deter you, however – safety should be a constant and ongoing focus if you’re going to set the standard in your industry and ensure that every employee goes home safely.
Even when undergoing annual audits, perhaps you’ll encounter a situation or period of time where you feel your safety protocols still aren’t up to snuff. You could have a string of accidents, a large security breach, or some other occurrence that uncovers a deficiency in the way your business is running. Maybe there’s been a change in industry regulations. Don’t view this as a setback – it’s an opportunity for your organization to get stronger, and a safety audit will help it to do so.
Speaking of security breaches, check out this great course to make sure you’re reception or front desk area is always safe and secure.
Where Is It Done
Depending on your industry and specific situation, a safety audit can be as extensive or unobtrusive as you deem necessary. Maybe you just want a health and safety professional to conduct a walk-through of your facilities looking for the main areas of concern and common mistakes. Or you could invest more time and resources to dig even deeper, finding even the most hidden hazards or policy mistakes.
This could include observing employees, upper management, and everyone in between throughout their daily work routine. You may grant an auditor access to your office records and paperwork where they can gain a big picture perspective and get an even better understanding of how your company operates, looking for possible deficiencies in every nook and cranny.
Why You Need One
Let’s look at just some of the numerous benefits of safety audits that will show up in the every day operations of your business. To start, higher productivity will have a direct impact on your bottom line through a larger output and lower costs. This shift can come as a result of happier and less stressed employees and a stronger relationship with supervisors. Together, these will both help decrease employee turnover and needless hiring costs.
You’ll spend less money on insurance, medical costs, workers comp benefits, and rehabilitating injured employees. There won’t be any work shortages that have to be made up with new hirings or overtime wages. Your products will likely even be better quality with less defects.
And the truth is, most small businesses simply can’t withstand the repercussions of a serious accident in the workplace. If you don’t want to run the very real risk of seeing your operation go under and your hard work up to that point lost, it’s of immense importance to give the needed priority to prevention.
How It Works
Creating a safe environment within your company can be broken down into a handful of key areas and factors. Probably the most important is an effort by ownership and management to lead by example. They’ll set procedures, assign tasks, and incorporate their workers along the way.
You’ll want to ensure that an understanding of your facilities is gained and maintained, with any and all potential dangers or problem areas properly identified. Then creating and implementing ways to eliminate, reduce, or otherwise avoid these hazards. Once you’ve gathered the information and taken steps to provide answers through safety policies, everyone needs to be taught and trained to follow them. This goes for the entire staff, from entry-level workers to the highest rungs of management.
A safety audit conducted by the right team will address all of these and more. Areas that may be weak will be exposed and steps can be made to strengthen them. Your foundation can be built or repaired and a high standard of safety can be set forth and maintained in the long-term.
Start the Audit Process Today
Whether you’re a fledgling small business owner or the CEO of a major company, by now you should understand how vitally important maintaining workplace safety through audits is. Not only will it have a huge impact on your bottom line and the success of your business, it will grant you the piece of mind of knowing that the people you work with aren’t being injured or falling ill on your watch. And it’s not something you can address once disaster has already hit – the only answer is prevention.
Get started today by finding out what steps you need to take to conduct your own audit or have it done professionally. For more tips on building a safe culture within your workplace, I’d strongly recommend checking out this course on leadership safety skills for supervisors.