Construction sites can be hazardous places, with workers facing a range of risks and dangers on a daily basis. To ensure the safety of workers and the public, health and safety audits are a critical tool for construction site management.
A health and safety audit is an assessment of a workplace’s safety management system, policies, procedures, and practices. The audit aims to identify potential hazards and risks and assess the effectiveness of existing safety control measures. Helia EHS has vast experience in conducting these audits and recommends that they are carried out regularly to ensure the continuous improvement of safety practices.
Construction sites are inherently hazardous environments, with a range of potential risks and hazards. These can include falls, electrocution, exposure to hazardous materials, poor air quality, environmental noise issues and the risk of collapsing structures. A health and safety audit is necessary to identify these hazards and ensure appropriate safety measures are in place to protect workers and the public.
Health and safety audits can also help construction companies comply with their legal obligations. In Australia, employers have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace for their employees and to protect them from harm. A health and safety audit can help employers ensure they are meeting their legal obligations and prevent potential fines or legal action and more importantly, minimising the risk of injuring their employees.
In addition to complying with legal obligations, health and safety audits can also provide several benefits for construction companies. These include:
Health and safety audits can help foster a culture of safety within the workplace. By identifying potential hazards and assessing existing safety measures, workers become more aware of the importance of safety and the need to follow safety procedures.
A safe workplace is a more productive workplace. Health and safety audits can identify potential hazards that may be slowing down work processes, allowing companies to make improvements that can increase efficiency and productivity.
By identifying potential hazards and implementing appropriate safety controls, companies can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, which can lead to costly downtime, compensation claims, and legal action.
What Does a Health and Safety Audit Involve?
Health and safety audits involve several steps, including:
Before the audit takes place, it is important to plan the scope of the audit, the areas to be covered, and the timeline for the audit.
During the audit, an Helia EHS specialist consultant will review the workplace’s safety management system, policies, procedures, and practices. They will assess the effectiveness of existing safety measures and identify any potential hazards or risks. We are typically open and transparent in our auditing style ensuring we give value on-site rather than a ‘policing-style’ of auditing. This includes calling out unsafe behaviours observed on-site that are of an imminent/acute danger to people and/or the environment (i.e. an ‘an accident waiting to happen’).
After the audit is complete,we will prepare a report outlining our findings and recommendations. The report will identify areas for improvement and provide suggestions for how to address any identified hazards or risks.
Once the report is complete, it is important to implement the recommended changes. This may involve updating policies and procedures, providing additional training, or making physical changes to the workplace to address hazards.
Health and safety audits should be conducted regularly to ensure continuous improvement. It is important to review and monitor the effectiveness of any changes made following the audit to ensure they are effective in reducing hazards and improving safety.
Health and safety audits are a critical tool for construction site management in Australia. They help identify potential hazards and risks, ensure compliance with legal obligations, and provide a range of benefits for construction companies, including improved safety culture, increased productivity, and reduced costs. By conducting regular health and safety audits, construction companies can ensure they are providing a safe workplace for their employees and protecting the public from harm.
To find out more about the services Helia EHS can provide in workplace safety management, get in touch with our specialist team today.
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