Workplace inspections and audits are not only a legal requirement but also a great way of keeping your operation running without a hitch. They allow you to prolong the value of your assets, keep your personnel safe from accident or injury, keep morale high, and spare you from any unforeseen downtime.
Despite the importance of audits and inspections, there seems to be some confusion regarding these two terms. Sometimes, they are used interchangeably without a realization that they refer to different things. While this alone may not be such a big issue, using one term in place of the other can lead people to conduct workplace inspections when, in fact, regular site audits were requested … and vice-versa.
What Are Safety Inspections?
Regular safety inspections are essential in information-gathering such as identifying hazards or maintenance needs. They are typically carried out on a day-to-day basis and involve checking off required items when they’re inspected (which is why inspection checklists are a great tool).
Inspections can be general, assessing an entire facility or worksite, or they can be for specific assets, in which case they are usually conducted by operation-level daily users of the asset.
What Are Audits?
Audits are typically a more complicated process than inspecting, and they tend to be performed less frequently and by higher-level personnel than operators. Generally, an audit’s purpose is to assess overall compliance with internal policies, various regulations, and other compliance drivers. Audits offer a detailed examination of whether health & safety, maintenance, or other functions are being managed properly within an organization.
In addition to visual examinations, the auditing process often involves reviewing appropriate documentation and sometimes includes carrying out interviews with a cross-section of personnel, customers, or suppliers.
In general, inspections deal with things that can cause immediate accidents or other problems, while audits cover the root causes of these problems. They are both vital processes, and The Checker Software will help a great deal in streamlining and maximizing their value to your organization.