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Safe + Sound Week
You have not had any injuries. You have an onsite safety professional. You don’t have any high hazard operations onsite. You have few employees. You mostly use contractors and temporary workers. Whatever your situation, you may think that having a third-party audit of your safety programs and operations is an added expense that provides no real value.
In reality, a third-party safety audit can provide a valuable means of supporting ongoing safety performance and compliance, even beyond what an internal audit might provide. A third-party safety audit has the following advantages:
- Objectivity: Enlisting a qualified outside firm to audit your safety program provides a fresh set of unbiased eyes to assess aspects of your program internal staff may not consider. Third-party auditors offer broad perspective and knowledge of best management practices from conducting audits across industries. They maintain ongoing, up-to-date awareness of current and pending regulatory requirements that the organization should consider.
- Customizable: The audits themselves can be customized to fit the needs and goals of the organization. A third-party auditor can provide more direct coverage to evaluate specific program effectiveness and allow for a more focused understanding of existing strengths and improvement areas. Whether there is a desire to prepare for unannounced regulatory agency visits, review plans and programs, or even verify applicability, third-party audits can be built to suit the organization’s identified concerns and risks.
- Efficiency: Audits performed internally can take resources away from normal business operations. Third-party auditors work with the resources (or lack thereof) allocated to them to conduct an audit in a timely manner that does not negatively impact business functions.
- Validation: Third-party auditors validate existing programs and identify areas where best practices can be implemented to further protect the company. They assist in identifying issues before they become violations and identify root causes of continuing issues—focusing on corrective actions to be implemented. They can also provide data and reports that can be shared internally with employees to improve safety performance or externally with communities or customers to bolster the company’s image.
Every safety program needs to be continually reviewed and assessed to ensure it is meeting organizational goals and compliance requirements. Building a relationship with a third-party auditor is one way for organizations that are committed to a strong safety culture to:
- Take their safety program to the next level.
- Keep employees safe.
- Further protect the organization from a risk and compliance standpoint.