Auditing adds value. Auditing adds value because it assists senior management. Auditing assists management by providing verifiable, objective and documented proof of the appropriateness or otherwise of the current Work health and safety management system (WHSMS). It also verifies the return on investment in WH&S.
Frequently auditing is feared, unnecessarily so. Auditing also identifies positive performance indicators. Too often “WH&S” focuses solely on lost time injuries, significant injuries or non-conformances, which in fact are measures of failure. Constant emphasis on failure is counter-productive to morale therefore productivity. Auditing provides balance by identifying success that can be reported, rewarded, publicised and repeated. Success is far easier to replicate when fully understood. An audit that does not find fault is still a valid result.
Auditors independence affords evidence devoid of influence from personalities, workplace politics and personal agendas. Conflicts of interest occurring through internal audits are counter-productive. Independence enhances objectivity. Impartial, verifiable proof is substantiated not subjective and clear evidence of criteria compliance. Evidence rationally obtained delivers reliable and reproducible conclusions.
Audits are conducted to Australian Standards 4804 & 4801 or the criteria of clients, governments or insurers.
* Importantly some organisations are not prepared for an audit and will benefit from a “needs analysis” as a preparatory step, Australian Work Health & Safety can provide this service.