As a client organisation employing contractors how do you ensure that the project is being managed safelyand there is complaince with legal and contractual safety requirements? Likewise, as a contractor, you need to be confident that your sites are safe and unlikely to be subject to extra costs and delays due to poor safety standards.
More and more client organisations and contractors are now appointing Vision Safety to provide site safety audits on their sites in order to gauge the level of safety management.
We should all be aware of the cost of accidents. It is not just the injury to individuals that has to be taken into account but also the loss of productivity, the cost of the investigation, the onerous liquidation damages incurred should a project over-run as well as the potential fine if a subsequent prosecution is successful.
The objective of a periodic safety audit is to ensure that policies and procedures are being implemented and management controls are achieving the required standards, as well as identifying hazardous conditions. The findings of the audit can then be used to instigate corrective processes to improve operations and conditions.
All of our Audits are carried out by trained (Qualified to Lead Auditor) and competent is auditing against ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001
The Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974Section 2 (2) states:
It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare of all his employees.
To ensure that this requirement is adhered to the audit process plays a vital role in monitoring the health and safety culture on a site and ensuring that any discrepancies are identified and procedures put in place to rectify them.
The Management of Health and Safety At Work Regulations 1999 goes on to impose further specific legal requirements on all employers to carry out monitoring of their work place. Regulation 5 states:
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 preventative and protective measures.
Prior to a Site Audit taking place the following questions should be asked:
- What needs auditing?
- Who will carry out the audit?
- Who will prepare the Terms Of Reference..?
- When will these audits be carried out?
- How will these audits be carried out?
- What timescale will be put on remedial action?
- How will the findings of the audit be followed up?
For any health and safety inspection to be successful certain criteria must be adhered to. Firstly the person carrying out the inspection must have the necessary knowledge and experience. The scope of the inspection should be predetermined and a checklist compiled to assist the inspection.
Prior to carrying out an inspection any previous reports should be analysed. Questions should be asked of relevant parties, and assumptions should never be made. A written report of the inspections findings should be made and distributed to all relevant parties. Any findings should be followed up and a timescale should be allocated for remedial action. Finally corrective action must be taken with regards dangerous conditions and unsafe behaviour immediately!
Vision Safety carry out Safety Audits for a number of clients over a variety of working environments. Our auditors have the requiredy knowledge and experience and qualifications to provide our clients with a true indication of the safety culture which exists on their site and also we have the expertise to advise on remedial action to rectify any areas for improvement or non-compliance issues.