Conducting an annual WHS audit
One very effective and inexpensive tool to help ensure that your business has identified and taken reasonable steps to either eliminate or minimise any risk to the health and safety of its workers, the public and all other interested parties is to conduct a WHS management system audit.
Pursuant to section 36 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld) and similar numbered provisions in the WHS legislative instruments of other harmonised WHS jurisdictions, a business must eliminate risk to health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable. Where it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate risk to health and safety, the business must take reasonable steps to minimise those risks. Failure to do this may result in unnecessary injury to workers, fines and penalties from the regulator, and costly litigation.
A comprehensive WHS management system audit looks at a business’ organisational structure, its planning activities, employees’ roles and responsibilities, internal policies and procedures, injury and incident history and the physical working and operating environment of the business.
These types of Audits can be conducted internally by appropriately qualified staff or outsourced to external providers such as Sync or Swim. Having an external provider assist with the WHS audit process means that your business will be reviewed with a fresh pair of eyes. This can provide an extra safeguard as external eyes can often notice risks that are unintentionally overlooked by internal staff on a daily basis.
WHS audits can help ensure that your business is operating in compliance with WHS legislation and in a safe and productive manner. We recommend that organisations in non high-risk industries conduct either an internal or external WHS audit at least annually.
If you need any further information about WHS audits or any other WHS advice, give one of our expert staff a call today for a free quote or book an appointment through the website.
Article by: Paul Bright, Business Development and Compliance Specialist.