While an audit process is never intended to review everything on the site or within the organisation, as it is based on a snapshot in time, it is important for the organisation to undertake prior planning in order to ensure that the audit process is based on an appropriate sample of the operations undertaken at the site. While the sample does not need to be statistically based, it does need to be representative.
The selection of the sample needs to consider:
- The full range of ‘groupings’ within the overall workplace population – whether this is executive management, line managers, supervisors and the workers;
- All the various small teams of workers within the workplace – such as the electricians, mechanics and cleaning staff, as well as any contractors;
- The legislative duties that relate to the work – for example, is the organisation a designer of plant or importer of hazardous chemicals?
- The hours of operation – any out-of-hours work can present a heightened level of risk with minimal management support;
- The range of work being undertaken, and the related risk exposures; and
- The location of the work – is it done on another site, a construction site, or within client’s workplace; and if so how safe are these workplaces? Is there a ‘work from home’ component and if so how is this managed?
To get the most out of the audit process all these elements need to be considered during the audit planning stage. Naturally the effectiveness of the on-site audit process is also dependent on the thoroughness of the review of the related documented management system.
Please contact QRMC for more information about our auditing services.