Audit and inspection services

Our audit and inspection services provide you with the assurance that your systems are working properly. Audits identify your strengths and highlight any deficiencies in your current practice. Your health and safety performance will be improved by using our combined audit and inspection services.

In both audit and inspection you set or agree the standards that are used (what you think you are doing). If you need help with this then we can assist you. You may already have adopted some standards, such as standard procedures or the general industry norms. We recommend exceeding the legal minimums, since not meeting them may result in you having broken criminal law.

Inspections

An inspection can be a stand-alone activity (looking and reporting on what happens) or part of an Audit. (An audit without inspection will have far less potential to identify improvements.)

Because audits are systematic and inspections are not there are several critical differences. Unfortunately people often confuse these different workplace tools, so this list underlines the differences. Inspection:

  • is less directed than audit and does not normally include a review of documentation.
  • can cover just one topic or at everything going on in a small area.
  • is not necessarily systematic but relies on the skill of the person undertaking the inspection to identify issues.
  • reports normally suggest changes for improvement, but are not as detailed as audit reports.
PDCA cycle

The basic outline of the Plan Do Check Act cycle as used in HSG65, and ISO standards (including the draft ISO45001 for health and safety systems).

Audits

An audit is a systematic review of what you are doing, what you need to do, and what needs to be done to bridge any gaps. It must be done in accordance with some standard (you own or a published system). In the absence of any other standard being specified we use HSG65, along with your company systems.

Standards

If you need assistance in identifying suitable standards for your company we will help you. It is dangerous to assume that the law provides you with the standards to be followed. Any deviation from legal requirements may result in you having broken criminal law (and therefore being liable to penalties).

Carefully selected standards and performance measures can provide you with reasonably simple, self enforcing systems. When standards are well specified it is easier for people to get things right than it is to do things wrong. As a result your compliance with the standards will improve. Additionally, the amount of effort needed for the work may reduce, and your output and efficiency may increase. If your standards are well thought through and integrated with the other business processes everything becomes that bit easier.

The HSE’s HSG65 standard (last version published in 2013) is recognised worldwide. The standard is compatible with the current international standard and the draft 45001 standard. There are differences but the general drive is the same. If you want another standard to be used for the audit process then feel free to ask.

Reports

The outcomes from audits and inspections are reports. Report contain recommendations for action, to help you address the gaps identified, and prevent future drift. Because they are snap-shot events, audits and inspections need to be repeated periodically. How often and who undertakes future inspections will be your choice, we often include recommendations in the report.