Health and safety audits and inspections

Health and safety audits are a way for organizations to identify what they are doing wrong before accidents happen but also to identify what they are doing right. It is important that auditing is not seen as a negative, which only aims to find out where an organization is going wrong. It should also be seen as a way of identifying what they are doing well. Regular health and safety auditing is recommended by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and is described in the publication Successful Health and Safety Management (HSG 65).

Effective auditing systems display the following characteristics:

  • They are carried out by competent individuals or teams who have received specific training to do the work;
  • The auditor/auditors are independent of the area or section being audited.

Audits can and should be done internally but it is often a good idea to have this backed up by external audits from time to time. Either way audits should be designed to assess the following key elements of health and safety management and compliance:


  • Its intent scope and adequacy.


  • The acceptance of health and safety responsibilities by line managers and the adequacy of arrangements to secure control;
  • The adequacy of arrangements to consult and involve all employees in health and safety;
  • The adequacy of arrangements to communicate policy and relevant information;
  • The adequacy of arrangements to secure the competence of all employees and the provision of health and safety assistance.

Planning and implementation

  • The overall control and direction of the health and safety effort;
  • The adequacy of the management arrangements, risk control systems (RCS) and workplace precautions;
  • The adequacy of resources and their proportionate allocation to reflect the hazards profile of the business;
  • The extent of compliance with management arrangements, RCSs, performance standards and the effectiveness of workplace precaution in achieving control of risk;
  • Long term improvement in the accident and incident performance.

Measuring systems

  • The adequacy and relevance and design.

Review systems

  • The ability of organisation to learn from experience, improve performance, develop the health and safety management system, and response to change.
Successful Health and Safety Management
H&S Audit image
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If you would like more information
If you would like more information on how we may be able to help you with regard to health and safety audits or inspection please call for an informal chat or we can arrange a more formal meeting.