Health and Safety Auditing

Health and safety auditing is a systematic, ongoing and periodic review of the entire occupational health and safety management system, including the policy and programs used to promote health and safety and prevent workplace accidents/incidents and work related illnesses.



Audits are conducted to determine the effectiveness of management systems and to identify the strengths and opportunities for improvements, with the initial health and safety audit can be used to establish standards against which future audits can be measured. A health and safety audit will also provide an objective outlook of the status of occupational health and safety management within the workplace.

  • How do we scope an audit?

There are three essential elements needed to evidence a successful audit. Firstly, you need to have the correct documentation in place; up-to-date Health and Safety policies, process documents, suitable arrangements for harmful substances etc. Secondly are the interviews with managers and heads of departments. Auditors need to speak to these people at suitable times. These interviews ask “is it in place?” Finally, there is the evidence. Are the policies and processes being carried out? Here, the auditor will talk to the people on the ‘shop floor’ and find out the actual processes being carried out.

  • Internal vs External?



Active and Reactive Monitoring


Important aspects of running a business (such as sales, marketing, operations, production, finance, quality, environmental issues, etc.) companies need to measure their health and safety management performance to find out if they are being successful. Monitoring may be split into two distinct areas: Active Monitoring and Reactive Monitoring.



Active measures give feedback about performance before incidents are experienced. Obviously this is preferable, assuming action can be taken to prevent incidents occurring. An additional benefit is that active monitoring measures success and reinforces positive achievement. Active measures usually consider the following:

* Achievement of specific plans and objectives
* Operation of a health and safety management system
* Compliance with standards and procedures
* Site condition inspection
* Environmental monitoring
* Health surveillance
* Behavioral observation

Reactive monitoring is about measuring safety permanency by reference to accidents, incident and ill-health that have already occurred.

Reactive monitoring is triggered by events including

* Injuries
* Ill health
* Property damage
* Incidents with potential to cause harm
* Hazard reports
* Complaints




Sources of Health & Safety Information

  1. Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

HSE is responsible for health and safety in Great Britain. Its been 40 years since the Health and Safety at Work Act received Royal Assent, providing a new regulatory framework for work place health and safety in Great Britain. This has helped make Britain one of the safest places in the world to work, saving thousands of lives, preventing many more injuries at work and reducing the economic and social costs of health and safety failures.


What got my attention is this organization that they work closely with a range of stakeholders, local authorities, international and national bodies. and i think it is great way to improve health and safety in their country. however it is great source for health and safety information because it work on regulating and enforcing health and safety, Legislation, and statistics… .

(H&S ABC – An easy guide to health & safety video)

    2. International Labour Organization (ILO)

The only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.


This video introduces the work of the International Labour Organization )

ILO is great agency dealing with labour problems, social protection, and work opportunities for all. what i liked about ILO that they decided to bring decent work and livelihoods job and better living standards to the people of both poor and rich countries.


   3. World Health Organization (WHO)


WHO started when the Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date that everyone celebrate every year as World Health Day. WHO has more than 7000 people working in 150 country offices, in 6 regional offices and at WHO headquarters in Geneva.


        (WHO: Bringing health to life)

WHO role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations system. Their area of work Health systems,Promoting health through the life-course, Noncommunicable diseases, Communicable diseases,Corporate services, and Preparedness, surveillance and response. I liked WHO as health and safety information source because they cover many health topics ( Health topics ).

Occupational Health & Safety Culture


Developing a good workplace safety culture is a critical part of implementing workplace health and safety. A workplace safety culture needs to be an intrinsic part of how an organisation operates and part of the culture of each individual organisation: it is not a separate ‘add-on’. It is not a short term fix, but a longer term commitment.
Organisations which fail to create a safety-focused workplace culture will find it difficult to meet legislative requirements because all levels of management and employees need to be working together for a culture of safety to exist and to have subsequent workplace effects. Definition of health and Safety culture

What is the health and safety culture of an organisation?

The culture of an organisation is a reflection of the way in which the organisation operates; it describes how, where, who, when and why an organisation operates in a particular way. All organisations can be said to have a culture of some kind. To promote a positive health and safety culture, everyone in the organisation needs to understand what is meant by “health and safety culture”.

The guidance document HSG65 Successful health and safety management, published by the HSE, defines the safety culture of an organisation as “the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organisation’s health and safety management”.

The culture of an organisation contributes greatly to its health and safety performance. Evidence indicates that successful organisations have developed positive cultures that promote good health and safety practices. Having a good health and safety management system can go some way to setting the scene for developing a good culture, but it goes much deeper than that. A positive health and safety culture embodies a combination of factors.

  • Visible leadership and commitment from all levels in the organisation.
  • Visible evidence that investment is made in health and safety including providing adequate resources, training, etc.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of health and safety throughout the organisation.
  • Clear definition of the culture that is desired and what is required of everyone to achieve it.
  • Acceptance across all levels that it is a long term strategy that requires sustained effort and interest.
  • Managing competing priorities with health and safety (eg production, quality, etc).
  • Good communication, up, down and across the organisation.
  • Existence of a good learning culture — the capability and willingness to learn from experience within and without the organisation.
  • Setting realistic and achievable targets and measuring performance against them.
  • Proactive approach allowing opportunities for meaningful involvement of the workforce in all elements of health and safety.
  • Ownership of health and safety across all levels in the organisation. What is the health and safety culture of an organisation?


benefits of having a good workplace safety culture:

  • improved morale
  • improved performance
  • increased productivity
  • reduced staff turnover and associated costs of recruitment and training
  • work satisfaction
  • empowered and committed people
  • reduced injuries and the associated costs, including workers comp premiums and lost productivity
  • good prospects as an investment opportunity
  • flow on effects in continuous improvement across the organisation.  The benefits are evident


Indications of a poor health and safety culture at work:

  • Accidents
  • Absenteeism
  •  High sickness rates
  • Staff turnover
  • Legislation compliance
  • Staff complaints

Poor management of health and safety issues has financial implications for businesses. A recent survey carried out by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) found that ineffective management cost UK businesses over £19 billion per year in lost working hours. The study found that 75% of workers wasted almost two hours each working week due to inefficient managers. Poor management practices responsible for lost time include unclear communication, lack of support, micro-management and lack of direction. The role of managers in promoting a positive health and safety culture


The safety culture maturity model presented overleaf is set out in a number of iterative stages. It is proposed that organisations progress sequentially through the five levels, by building on the strengths and removing the weaknesses of the previous level. It is therefore not advisable for an organisation to attempt to jump or skip a level. For example, it is important for organisations to go through the managing level before the involving level as it important that managers develop their commitment to safety and understand the need to involve front line employees.  Five levels of safety culture maturity

(( The 4 C’s of a health and safety culture ))

The Linked video above will help you to understand the 4 C’s of a health and safety culture more.

Example of a Health & Safety Policy system


Health and Safety is important because it protects the well being of employers, visitors and customers. Looking after Health and Safety makes good business sense. Workplaces which neglect health and safety risk prosecution, may lose staff, and may increase costs and reduce profitability.

The provided link shows a Health and Safety Policy Statements in a Nursery;

The policy statements provided in the link meet the key requirements for a good health and safety management. It is clear and to the point and involves all the key requirements that we studied.

(you can read the requirements in International Health and Safety At Work (Book), Chapter 2.3)



The Role of Governments and International Bodies is Regulating OHS

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) was found in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles at the end of the first World War. ILO aim to promote social justic through establishing and safeguarding internationally recognised human and labour rights. The ILO has 178 member states but if a country is not a member the ILO still has the source of guidance when the social problem occur.

The main principles on which the ILO is based are:

  1. labour is not a commodity
  2. freedom of expression and of association
  3. poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere
  4. the ‘war against want’

10 FT PrinciplesILO occupational health and safety standards:

  • Guiding policies for action: 1981 (NO 155), 1985 (NO 161), 2006 (NO 187)
  • protection in given branches of economic activity: construction industry, offices…
  • protection against specific risks: ionizing, radiation, benzene…
  • measures of protection: medical examination of workers, maximum weight of load to be carry or lift by one worker…

European Union (EU)

The EU presented new strategic framework on health and safety at work. an EU study has shown that the development of the health and safety legislative system in UK had produced one of the best health and safety performances in the EU.

Employers responsibilities:



Workers rights and responsibilities:

  1. Freedom of association
  2. Forced labour; the ILO pressing for effective national laws for forced labour
  3. Discrimination

The legal framework:



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