The term ‘inspection’ and ‘audit’ tend to get interchanged with little regard as to their differences. Some might even ask, is the difference that remarkable that a differentiation needs to be made? We’ll let you be the judge of that.
So, what are the basic differences between a safety inspection and a safety audit? Before reviewing the differences, I think we can all agree that both are important elements of a workplace safety and health program as they both focus on protecting the well-being of workers, but from slightly different angles.
Safety inspections typically are meant to identify ‘safety hazards’ and ‘unsafe practices’ (i.e. do tools or equipment present a hazard, are safeguards in place, do workers perform unsafe actions, etc.).
Safety inspections tend to be completed by employees’ familiar with the workplace and are driven by the use of checklists. They’re most commonly focused on regulatory requirements and specific workplace policies.
Once recognized, these hazards can be mitigated to reduce the likelihood of future injury or loss. Analyzing and trending inspection data can also lead to improved safety performance over time through the implementation of a more focused inspection program and/or improved or targeted training to meet a specific need.
Whereas, a safety audit is typically designed to evaluate programs and practices put in place with a focus on determining their reliability and/or effectiveness (i.e. are the programs regulatory compliant, do the programs meet company desired goals, is employee training effective and meaningful, etc.).
Audits tend to be completed by independent employees (i.e. from another department or outside the company such as Americana Safety, a nationwide company of qualified and experienced environmental, health and safety consultants.
To learn more on how Americana Safety can assist you and your company visit us at: https://www.americanasafety.com or call 888.339.8540.