Why is a health and safety compliance audit important for businesses in the south of Durban?

The main objective that the SafetyWallet Health and Safety Audit aims to achieve is to identify any safety, health and environmental deviations in the management system of organisations based in the south of Durban.

In addition, it identifies how SHE risks can be managed effectively and helps to provide the current level of the employer in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Furthermore, the SafetyWallet Health and Safety Audit also rewards employers according to the level of compliance they achieve and encourages them to make a concerted effort towards improving their compliance.

What are the responsibilities of employers?

A health and safety audit is not considered a legal obligation and employers cannot be forced to conduct them. However, employers have a legal obligation to ensure that they are compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act in providing a healthy and safe working environment. Even though it is not a legal obligation, it is, however, highly recommended as best practice.

This is attributed to the in-depth level of examination into the occupational health and safety programme, management and systems of the employer, which proves their level of compliance. To ensure that they are effective, health and safety audits must be more than a box-ticking exercise and they must also be more than merely a defensive measure.

Internal versus external audits

One of the elements of health and safety audits is that they can be conducted either internally or externally.

Internal audits

Internal audits are often conducted by a member of staff who has the required training, skills, knowledge and experience to do so, or by an audit team led by such a person. Internal audits have the distinct advantage because they allow for more control of the process. It thus allows for the audit to be conducted in phases which minimises disruptions to operations.

They may also be more cost-effective; however, internal audits are regarded as unsuitable as they may often represent a classic false economy. However, when they are conducted effectively and in the correct manner, they serve as a useful management tool that can enhance employees’ understanding of how the business performs and provide insight into potential problems that may cause an incident or injury.

External audits

Despite the valuable insight that internal audits may provide, external audits remain the golden standard, which specifically requires an independent assessment done on the employer’s occupational health and safety programme.

External audits are both unbiased and objective, and in addition, they offer the benefit of handing the task over to an independent expert such as SafetyWallet. Furthermore, it also offers the opportunity for the organisation to be benchmarked against peers and rivals using recognised standards.

What does the SafetyWallet Health and Safety Audit entail?

As part of its exclusive and unique solutions, SafetyWallet offers subscribers a health and safety compliance audit that involves an in-depth examination of the subscriber’s entire health and safety management system. The audit process can be described as follows:

  • The appointed SafetyWallet auditor and audit team review various elements of the health and safety programme against OHSA requirements, regulations and all other relevant legislation.
  • The effectiveness of the implementation of these arrangements are assessed followed by an inspection of the workplace and the sampling of operational activities.
  • Relevant management, staff and SafetyWallet partners are then interviewed, and the roles and responsibilities of participants are discussed confidentially.
  • Once the audit has been concluded, the SafetyWallet auditor will provide and present the audit report to the SafetyWallet member arrangement team.
  • In this audit report observations and recommendations will be provided along with an action plan.

Once the audit has been concluded, and the employer and their premises has been found compliant with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the subscriber will receive their health and safety compliance certificate, valid for one year.

Why should you make use of SafetyWallet to conduct a health and safety audit?

SafetyWallet offers its members, in association with OHS consultants and MAKROSAFE, a professional audit team that will help the member navigate SHE risk principles found in day-to-day business operations. The SafetyWallet auditor works to identify the strengths in the health and safety management system and points out any weaknesses that may exist.

This gives way to numerous opportunities to improve everyday safety, health and environmental risk management. By making use of the SafetyWallet auditor, both the employer and their employees can reap several benefits.

In addition, employers can expect the following when having SafetyWallet Health and Safety Audit conducted:

  • Legally compliant workplaces.
  • The use of experienced auditors who can quickly identify gaps in the OHS programme and system.
  • Client feedback after each follow-up visit.
  • Audit protocols that are frequently updated.
  • Annual issuing of the compliance certificate.

Related Articles

Back to top button