Why is it needed?A workplace health and safety audit is required in order to ensure that employees are working in a safe environment. An organization must conduct an annual workplace health and safety audit to ensure compliance with legislation on occupational health and safety. This helps the organisation to make sure that they are adhering to the laws and regulations set out by the government. How to find the right auditor for youWho conducts a health and safety audit? A risk assessment engineer or auditor or an independent party who carries out WHS consultation, will be assigned the task of conducting an initial examination of your business, process, equipment, materials, people, and procedures for their compliance with legislation on occupational health and safety. This will include:Examining any documentation you may have about how work within your business is carried out (for example manuals).Making site visits both during normal operational hours as well as off-shift where possible.Speaking with those employees who have specific duties and responsibilities in relation to occupational health and safety matters. The audit is usually carried out over a one-day period, but this can vary depending on the size of your business or how complex it is. How do you know if you have picked the right auditor? The first thing to consider when choosing an auditor for your health & safety assessment is their ability to provide a service that meets all of your expectations. Make sure they are fully qualified with appropriate accreditations. You should check whether they work alone or as part of a larger team; both options will be able to offer impartial advice, however working with a larger team may give you access to a wider range of knowledge and expertise such as occupational hygienists in Australia and other specialists in workplace health and safety. You should also check that they have the necessary experience in your industry sector or similar sectors, as this will help them find any potential risks quickly. Once you have chosen an auditor, it is time for them to carry out their health & safety audit on-site, so they can see exactly what is going on within your business premises. This may mean speaking with employees directly about the ways work activities are carried out. Steps to help make sure your business passes a health & safety auditWhile it is important to ensure that your business has a health and safety audit carried out, it is also vital that you follow through by making the necessary changes. Once you have undergone an on-site inspection from an auditor, there are certain steps you can take to help make sure they pass your health and safety audit, such as:Make sure that your employees are given the proper training they need to carry out their tasks safely.Ensure that all of your equipment is up-to-date and can be operated in a safe manner.Don't hesitate to have another health & safety audit carried out if you feel it is necessary, even if the auditor tells you everything looks good. How often should companies have their audits performed, and who should perform them on behalf of your companyA health and safety audit should ideally be carried out once every year, in order to keep track of the health and safety standards implemented in your company. They can be carried out by an outside firm or even by employees that are particularly interested in keeping up to date on these matters, so long as they have received training for this purpose. Certain regulations could change over time, and getting a regular audit means that you are kept aware of these changes and can stay on top of things. There are independent consultants who are accredited with national health and safety authorities, and who are well experienced and skilled to carry out these audits. They will look at different factors inside your company, and make the necessary recommendations to the management for changes to be made. The audit will also look at your work organization, and how it affects health and safety in the workplace; they may find that there are too many people working on a particular task for example, which is not safe or efficient. Some of these audits can take several days depending upon the size of your company, but this ensures that every aspect has been covered by them. They will make recommendations, if necessary, but most importantly they give an independent view about where improvements can be made in order to keep everyone safe while performing their jobs safely. Many companies actually include health and safety as part of their ISO standards (a management system based around quality), so getting regular audits done becomes even more important when you have such high standards to adhere to and hence, provide the best possible service to your customers.