Many legal duties are placed on companies regarding their health and safety. Auditing is a way of periodically checking if and how they are complying with those duties. It is an ideal time to compare those areas that are performing well regarding health and safety management and those that are not. This enables “best practice” to be spread throughout the company and, consequently, resulting in progressive improvement.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have produced a guidance document entitled “Successful Health and Safety Management” (HSG65). This document provides advice on how health and safety should be managed, particularly in large organisations. A key element covered is audit. It stresses the importance of auditing the organisation to ensure that its safety management system is robust and is not deteriorating (as systems tend to if left alone). The HSE have also stated that the advice given in HSG65 will be used by their inspectors when checking an organisation’s arrangements for managing health and safety.
Another advantage in carrying out audits is that they enable the company to satisfy itself that their own Health and Safety Policy and the requirements of the Health and Safety Manual are being implemented.
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