Safety audits in any organization—especially those where personnel deal with complicated, potentially dangerous assets—are crucial. Yet many companies still choose to go over them quickly and inefficiently to simply “be done with them.”
An effective way to get away from this line of thought is to start using checklists. Here’s five reasons why.
1. Checklists allow for easier audits.
Safety-audit checklists allow you to conduct a much-easier examination of all potential hazards in the workplace. That way, your personnel will know what type of corrective actions you need to take to fix potential problems. Without checklists, personnel usually spend more time performing audits—but find less problems that need to be fixed.
2. With checklists in place, personnel won’t omit specific important tasks.
Safety audits are repetitive in nature because they’re designed for your personnel to properly inspect every aspect of a specific asset or process. However, people can get sloppy with repetitive tasks—for example, omitting key items and steps in safety audits because the auditors have become so used to their regular process that they easily let their mind wander. Checklists keep them focused.
3. Checklists keep personnel organized.
Well-designed safety-audit checklists have specific guidelines that must be followed. This structure help personnel stay organized in conducting the audit and planning their time.
4. Checklists provide accountability.
Using checklists for safety audits—in checklist books, or as part of an auditing software program that helps with planning, scheduling, sharing results, and analyzing the audit data—means that there’s always a record of which actions were performed. Due to this, your personnel will have a greater sense of accountability than if there was no way to prove slipshod auditing.
5. Checklists give personnel a sense of security.
Because checklists are powerful tools to ensure safety audits are performed thoroughly, most personnel working with the assets and processes involved will feel confident in their safety. This confidence typically leads to greater worker satisfaction, which in turn usually leads to greater productivity.
With checklists in place, it will be difficult for anyone in your organization not to take safety audits seriously—inspiring personnel who conduct safety audits to do so with close attention and an appreciation of the importance of what they’re doing.