Health and safety audits play an important role in the systematic appraisal and assessment of how activities and the environment influence the safety of those on site. However, the physical inspection of a construction site is often a time-consuming process. With PlanRadar’s health and safety audit template, you can automatically compile data and create full health and safety reports with the press of a button.
What is a health and safety audit?
Per definition by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), health and safety audits evaluate compliance with regulations and measure the performance of implemented activities. Safety audits:
- Identify risks in the workplace and assess the severity of those risks
- Assess whether organisations have planned and executed safety processes and procedures well
- Show where you need to improve processes and procedures
- Assess whether safety processes and procedures are legally compliant
- Eliminate unsafe or dangerous practices and processes
Which laws in the UK provide the basis for health and safety audits?
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 defines the general responsibilities employers and employees have to minimise risks in the workplace. Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 gives a more detailed description of an employer’s duties. Under the regulations, employers must assess risks and put into place suitable and sufficient measures to prevent accidents or injuries.
There is also a legal obligation to record the control measures in place. Consequently, all health and safety audits must be relevant to the activity or area being assessed and be repeated at regular intervals. From the perspective of an employer, having a comprehensive record of all health and safety measures in place can also prove invaluable in the event of claims.
The UK’s health and safety legislation is designed to protect workers in all fields. However, the nature of construction work means that the risks are greater. According to the HSE, in the period from 2018-19, there were 30 fatal injuries to workers, 7 fatal injuries to members of the public and 54,000 non-fatal injuries. Due to this potential for serious harm or death, the construction industry has a particular interest in carrying out thorough and frequent health and safety audits.
How to conduct a health and safety audit?
Audit processes differ depending on the organisation and the area being audited. The procedure described below gives a general overview of the individual steps in a health and safety audit.
Prepare the audit
Since no construction project is the same, every audit is different. Try to get an accurate picture of the expected complexity. In any case, it is important to have a systematic process that includes all relevant people and departments. The planned audit should also include a detailed review of previous audits and the measures derived from them. Also, take into account previous records and documentation and ensure that any previous recommendations for improvement have been acted on. Based on this information, create the process and a schedule of the audit.
Conduct the audit
Depending on the scope of the health and safety audit and the number of people involved, you may need to divide individual tasks between a qualified team. On the day of the audit, you should coordinate the planned tasks with all relevant parties during a kick-off meeting.
The audit includes a review of all written materials in regard to risk identification and risk control on the construction site. A part of this task is to check for missing or incomplete documents and records. Another main part of the audit is the on-site inspection to check the implementation and management of requirements. Collecting evidence is another important aspect of the on-site inspection. This could include the collection of photos or interview statements of employees.
Use PlanRadar for an efficient recording process. The cloud-based software-as-a-service (Saas) is a tool for documenting and communicating data in construction and real estate projects. Also available as an app for mobile devices, you can use PlanRadar to create, complete and record a health and safety audit checklist. That checklist enables you to accurately log all risks on site. Once you’ve built your checklist, you can reuse it in all future audits, ensuring that you’re always capturing the same data points.
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Make recommendations based on the data and take action
Review all collected data and complete analysis of whether the implemented processes are in line with regulatory and internal requirements. Based on this assessment prioritise identified risks and make suggestions for improvements such as an update in employee training methods. Involve employees and responsible persons in the development and implementation of solutions. Set a date for when the solutions developed must be introduced and evaluate the implementation as it progresses. Make sure that all measures are recorded and documented in writing to create the basis for the next audit.
Use PlanRadar’s health and safety audit template to save time and money
Speed up the auditing process with PlanRadar’s health and safety report template and create complete reports within minutes. Our template comes with pre-defined fields for data entry so you can start using it immediately. All information collected with PlanRadar, including identified risks, their location, images and comments are added automatically to the health and safety audit template.
Whether your report should describe risks in detail or display them in a table with pictures, you can freely customize the look of the health and safety report template to suit your needs. Apply your own format via drag & drop from existing Word and Excel documents. With just a click you can change existing data fields or add new ones. You can also include your company’s logo and branding and any introductory pages. Once you’ve completed the audit, export the finished health and safety report as a PDF just by pushing a button. Digitally sign the finished report on your smartphone or tablet and share it immediately with the necessary parties.
READING TIP: See all of the available report templates here
PlanRadar is your multipurpose tool for construction and real estate projects
PlanRadar is available as an app for Android, iOS, and Windows devices and is used in more than 45 countries worldwide. You can not only use the software for health and safety audit checklists but also for snagging, site diaries, fire safety reports and more. Additionally, you can create complete reports for all of these tasks within seconds. As a result of digitising these processes, users save an average of 7 working hours per week.
Test PlanRadar now for free for 30 days and see how the software can work for your business.