Overview: A safety audit can be conducted in-house or through an outside consulting company. The purpose of a safety audit is to evaluate what the workplace is doing to promote workplace safety and to see what could be done better. Safety audits are not required by law, but they are a good practice.
When a safety audit takes place, it should be fully documented. If any safety concerns are found, they should be fixed expeditiously. The fix should also be documented.
OSHA will not use a safety audit against the employer unless it fails to remedy safety issues that are discovered. Seeing that the employer has tried to find safety concerns and is making an effort to fix those concerns could be proof that a violation is not willful. However, if an employer knows about the violation but does not do anything about it, OSHA may use this as proof that the violation was willful.
Trends: Health care costs are a continuously growing concern, and eliminating unsafe elements in the workplace by performing safety audits could help lower these costs.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
This How To details the steps an employer should to take to conduct a proper safety self-audit or self-inspection in the workplace.
HR guidance on conducting a safety audit.