Safety Audit Preparation
I have encountered two schools of thought regarding preparation for an upcoming health & safety audit. Some of my colleagues will discuss safety audit requirements with employees in hopes that interview scores will improve as a result. Other colleagues feel that this removes the employees ability to answer the question truthfully because the employee feels pressured to give the auditor the company’s “answer”.
The safety practitioner who holds a tailgate meeting and goes over the material presented to employees during the past year is not “giving the answers” to the audit questions. In my opinion, a breach of ethic would occur only if the employee is instructed to give a specific answer to a specific question.
Any review of health & safety information is beneficial. Keeping topics timely and interesting doesn’t ensure employee retention. When I was learning how to teach adults I was reminded at least 3 to 4 times a day that we need to see, hear and feel a message about 7 times before we truly acknowledge the validity of the information. All those annoying advertisements repeated over and over again during your favorite television programs are designed to deliver on my instructors promise.
The 2014 COR audit season is already upon us. CAR audits must be completed by June 30 (for Alberta’s MHSA) and submitted no later than July 15. Booking for external audits has begun with companies wanting the latest dates possible. Presumably this is so that they can go over their material with internal safety teams and / or employees.
Booking your internal or external safety audit with a professional is worth its weight in change….. Many of the audit professionals bring a wealth of experience gained through exposure to a variety of work processes and an emphasis on health & safety. Internal audits need to examine the systemic or systematic problems stemming from within an organization and are often longer and more difficult to conduct not to mention implementing effective corrective actions. A very strong senior management team is needed to be able to accept criticism, propose change and adopt new methodologies when administering their heath & safety program.