Facility Safety: Why Your Business Needs an Audit
Ensure OSHA Compliance with a Facility Safety Audit
If you’re a business owner or building operator, you likely know the importance of achieving and maintaining EHS (environmental health and safety) compliance. Ensuring that your business follows Federal and State EH&S regulations is crucial to safely operate your business and guarantee its longevity for years to come.
In this blog, we’ll analyze the importance of conducting a facility safety audit of your business, and how doing so can help your company achieve OSHA compliance.
What Is a Facility Safety Audit?
A facility safety audit evaluates the safety-focused programs, practices, and strategies currently in place at your company or organization. During an audit, the auditors will:
- Collect information about your facility’s safety programs to determine if they are in compliance with all Federal and State regulations.
- Examine safety training and response efforts to ensure their effectiveness
- Consider whether a safety program meets the company’s goals
Facility Safety Audits vs. Facility Safety Inspections
Facility safety audits differ slightly from facility safety inspections, with the latter focusing specifically on identifying hazards and unsafe practices throughout a facility. Inspections may involve gathering samples to test for hazardous materials and/or indoor air contaminants, monitoring worker behavior and workplace equipment for unsafe practices, and determining whether safeguards exist or are in place.
However, some overlap does exist between audits and inspections. For example, both aim to create a safer, code-compliant workplace, and both may be conducted according to a safety checklist that includes industry best practices or related OSHA standards. Neither a facility safety audit nor a facility safety inspection is required by OSHA, but both are considered part of an effective safety plan.
Finally, a key difference between inspections and audits is that an inspection is conducted by those who are familiar with the workplace (i.e., department employees) while an audit is conducted by independent parties (i.e., from outside the company or in another department).
Proceeding with a Facility Safety Audit
As previously mentioned, OSHA does not request facility safety audit reports before conducting an inspection. Nevertheless, the agency may request audits as part of an ongoing review.
If a hazardous condition is identified during a voluntary facility safety audit, OSHA will consider the following:
- Has the employer rectified the hazardous condition prior to an inspection?
- Have appropriate steps been taken to prevent a recurrence of the hazardous condition?
- If a permanent solution isn’t yet in place, has the employer provided interim employee protection during the transition process?
If the employer meets these qualifications, the agency may regard the facility safety audit and prompt correction of apparent violations as confirmation of “good faith” efforts and not issue a citation. Learn more here.
Schedule a Facility Safety Audit with Vision Environmental
If you’re looking to decrease workplace hazards, mitigate accidents and injuries, improve employee efficiency, and implement safer work practices, we can help. Vision Environmental specializes in Hazardous Waste Disposal, Remediation and UST Closure, and Health and Safety Compliance. Clients throughout New Jersey and New York trust us to provide professional environmental and waste management services, enabling them to be compliant with all federal, state, and local regulations.
Contact us online or call us at (732) 589-7085 to discuss how we can help you achieve OSHA compliance today.