There is no specific legal requirement to carry out health and safety audits however the issue is surmised to in the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – Regulation 5
‘Every employer shall make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the nature of his activities and the size of his undertaking, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures’
Unless an organisation attempts to measure its safety performance, it will not be able to assess whether the systems and procedures it has in place are working or need to be amended, altered or updated in any way. There are a variety of different activities which can be undertaken to measure health and safety standards. These can be sub-divided into active (proactive) systems which monitor whether standards and objectives are being met and reactive systems which monitor accidents, ill health and incidents..
Purpose of monitoring
▪ Learning the lessons
▪ Checking the effectiveness of the SMS
▪ Setting or reviewing targets and goals
▪ Ensuring legal compliance
▪ Enabling compliance with accredited SMS
▪ Preventing accidents and loss
▪ Part of the employers moral duty to employee
▪ Checking the effectiveness of control measures
• Identify Continuous improvement opportunities
Within HSG65 Measuring, Reviewing and Auditing are all focused on checking that the company’s safety management system is performing correctly.
The OHSAS18001 model does not mention auditing in its main clauses however “Checking and Corrective” action requires calibration of equipment, work place inspections, reactive measures, internal audits of the system and the company’s legal compliance.
Objectives, goals or targets
It is important that organisations set goals and objectives, these set general principles which the organisation aims to follow, some of these normally focus around the minimum standards of the HASAWA “The organisation aims to provide a safe place of work for all employees along with training and information to enable them to work safely.”
These general principles may then need to be linked with specific targets, these need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART).