SafetyCulture iAuditor

Safety Audit Checklists

Published 30 Nov 2021

A safety audit is the process of gathering information to assess the risks and hazards in the workplace. It is performed by internal and external safety officers to evaluate efficiency, reliability, and effectiveness of health and safety systems of the organization. A safety audit checklist is used to ensure organizations comply with safety regulatory requirements to mitigate risks and prevent any work-related incidents, injuries, or fatalities. It is important for an organization to create an audit that fits the requirements of the industry. The information provided in this form should be specific. This ensures that the documentation process is timely and accurate.

How to Conduct a Safety Audit: Top 5 Tips

Safety audits are integral to the success of any operation, regardless of the business’s nature. The safety of a work environment influences productivity, worker morale, and overall sustainability. While the exact steps and specifics of each safety audit may vary depending on numerous factors, the following principles apply to effective safety audits regardless of industry:

Ensure that your safety audit checklists and templates fit your use case

Different businesses have different processes, workplace layouts, and safety regulations to comply with. While ready-to-use safety audit templates can be downloaded for free, it is generally considered good practice to customize your safety audit templates to fit your use case in order to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness.

Check your safety audit procedure for compliance

A compliant safety audit procedure trumps a good safety audit procedure. Before distributing your safety audit procedure template or checklist to the rest of your auditors, ensure that it covers the necessary checks to comply with safety audit standards relevant to your business. For businesses based in North America, safety officers need to be aware of applicable OSHA Laws and Regulations so they can customize audit templates to include all of the checks and inspections necessary for compliance.

Schedule safety audits and set conditions for ad hoc safety checks

Once you have the right tools to conduct effective safety audits, next comes knowing when and how often you should use them. In general, the thoroughness of your safety audits affect the frequency in which you need to perform them. Some companies prefer a comprehensive annual safety audit, while others may opt for a less comprehensive quarterly safety check.

Ad hoc safety audits should also be performed whenever a new process, equipment, or tool is introduced into the existing system. This ensures that safety practices are modified if necessary; preserving the overall safety in the workplace.

Be specific when documenting your safety audit findings

Good safety audits help inform teams so they can create effective control measures against risks and hazards. Safety auditors would do well to be as specific as possible when documenting findings during routine and ad hoc safety audits. Using safety inspection software which allows you to take photos and annotate them mid-audit results in a more comprehensive report that streamlines communication between teams.

Keep your safety audit data safe and secure

With the help of modern safety inspection apps, companies can rely less on safety contractors and third-party auditors in favor of doing internal safety compliance checks with their own in-house experts. Internal safety audits also give companies the added benefit of data security via cloud storage; allowing for custom permissions so only authorized personnel can access audit data.

Who Performs Safety Audits?

Safety audits are performed by individuals or teams who are trained to conduct periodic safety audits and should be independent from the organization or department being audited.

How is it Different from Safety Inspections?

Safety inspections are more frequently conducted and usually done by employees of the company who may belong to the same department being inspected for safety. The safety officers who conduct the safety inspections are more familiar with day-to-day operations.

Complete Safety Audits on-the-go Using a Versatile Mobile App

Safety audits are typically performed by safety officers who walk around the workplace, assessing risks and hazards then noting their findings using a pen and clipboard. This can be quite the hassle since physical forms are susceptible to damage, loss, and unauthorized access. iAuditor by SafetyCulture solves all of these problems and then some.

Take advantage of industry-leading features and safeguard your workplace from risks, hazards, and compliance issues:

  • Download pre-made safety audit checklists, convert your existing paper templates into iAuditor’s digital format, or create your own templates from scratch using our drag-and-drop template builder.
  • Take high-definition photos mid-audit and annotate them for easy reference;
  • Quickly roll-out audit template updates across the organization from your mobile device
  • Improve audit accountability by requiring digital signatures from your auditors; and
  • Utilize iAuditor’s advanced analytics to get a snapshot of your company’s overall performance wherever you are

SafetyCulture staff writer

Sare Hawes