In 2015, approximately 186 workers in Australia were killed on the job. How is this possible? More than likely, the organisation they worked for did not conduct occupational health and safety audits on a regular basis.
It is important for an organisation to conduct OHS audits because it ensures that their employees and customers are safe at the site. It also ensures that they’re complying with the current laws and regulations regarding safety in the workplace.
That way, they won’t get into any legal trouble, and they reduce the risk of someone getting injured on their property.
The initial downside of safety audits for companies is their cost to perform. A larger business with a large budget may not have a problem putting money aside for a safety audit, but small businesses may face a different story.
Small business owners are often seeking ways to cut expenses, and they often save money by avoiding extra audits in the workplace. However, what business owners like this don’t realise is that it will cost them even more money if one of their employees gets hurt.
So why should you conduct an OHS audit? We’ve highlighted a few reasons below:
Reduce the Risk of Injury
Even though safety should be emphasised in every workplace, some jobs are more dangerous than others. OHS audits to ensure that the employees will face the least-possible risk of injury.
For example, a construction site would be a common place for OHS audits to take place. The auditor may evaluate the site to see if anyone is leaving big pieces of wood or nails on the ground where people could walk over them.
Likewise, if the workplace is a nuclear power plant, the auditor will ensure that workers are protecting themselves appropriately from the dangerous radiation.
Overall, auditors work to identify every potential hazard at the workplace and then come up with solutions on how workers can best avoid them.
Prevent Business Loss
Aside from the ethical factor of an employee getting injured, there is also financial factor. An injured employee likely could sue their employer to compensate the physical and emotional aspects of their injuries.
Even if you have business insurance to cover these types of lawsuits, claims will still raise your premiums and lower the value of your company. If you don’t have insurance, then your business will suffer even greater financial loss.
Therefore, OHS audits are necessary to save your business from substantial loss.
Healthy employees are more productive employees. If they are not injured, they are able to go to work and perform their jobs well. If they feel great, they will have the energy to excel at their jobs.
There will be no calling out sick or dragging their feet in the workplace. Consider OHS audits as an investment in your company’s productivity.
Increase Customer Satisfaction
Customers are the driving force of any business. They need to feel that what you’re creating for them is safe to use, whether it’s a physical product, a service or an entire building.
OHS audits to evaluate the processes workers are using to create a product or service for their customers, and they ensure that it will be safe for all stakeholders involved.
For example, if you own a toy company, and workers are using lead paint on the toys, an OHS audit will discover this hazard and put a stop to it. Then you can proudly print labels claiming, “no dangerous chemicals” were used to create this product. Customers will appreciate and trust you more that way.
Increase Employee Morale
Employees who stay healthy and don’t fear for their safety are more likely to be happy employees. They will wake up feeling good and confident about going to work every day.
If employees are happy and confident, they will likely want to stay at their job for a very long time. For a company, this means they will have a low turnover rate, which will save them money on training new people.
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