Conducting a Safety Audit at Your Newark, NJ Industrial Property for Sale
A safety audit, according to Safeopedia, is “a structured process whereby information is collected relating to the efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability of a company’s total health and safety management system.”
It’s highly important that an industrial workplace be safe, so regular safety audits are recommended to get an idea of whether your safety programs are strong, and whether or not your company is in compliance with the local, state and federal requirements. Violating workplace requirements is a sure-fire way to get fined, which you want to avoid not just because of the financial aspect, but also because of what it’ll mean for your company.
Blau & Berg is a real estate company that can help you find the perfect Newark, NJ industrial property for sale, so your business can continue to grow and prosper. However, once you’ve moved to the new location, you’ll need to conduct regular safety audits. Here’s all the information you’ll need in the process.
What purpose do safety audits serve?
Safety audits are very important for any factory, warehouse, or other industrial space. We have written about the importance of workplace safety in the past, and conducting an audit lets you know the state of the workplace safety programs. Other than that, here are some of the purposes they serve:
They help you ensure compliance
According to SafetyInfo: “Work site audits also provide an evaluation of compliance to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards relating to ergonomics, respirator use, hearing conservation, blood-borne pathogens and use of personal protective equipment.”
They help you improve safety
According to Safeopedia: “They are used to identify weaknesses in their safety programs and processes. These audits are then used as a guide for designing safety plans or to identify corrective actions that should be undertaken.”
They help avoid workplace accidents
Since your safety processes will be thoroughly checked and tested and any weaknesses identified and taken care of, your workplace will be much safer, and so work-related injuries will not be likely to occur. This is a major benefit, because workplace injuries are a huge liability for an employer.
It’s important to do regular audits at your Newark, NJ industrial property for sale, because, according to SafetyInfo: “Conducting a single annual comprehensive safety audit can actually hide the facts and hazards that you may want to discover. The single annual audit approach may tend to create a safety “ramp up” effect, by managers and supervisors, as the audit time approaches.”
What should a safety audit do?
A safety audit should answer the following four questions:
- Does the program cover all regulatory and best industry practice requirements?
- Are the program requirements being met?
- Is there documented proof of compliance?
- Is employee training effective – can and do they apply specific safe behaviors?
All the comments, recommendations and corrective actions should focus on these four questions, and their answers.
How to conduct a safety audit
Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to conduct a safety audit. The exact process will be different for each organization based on the nature and size of your business (and other factors), but these are the basic steps you should go through during a safety audit at your Newark, NJ industrial property for sale.
Step 1 – Preparation
The first step in any process is preparation, and safety audits aren’t any different. There are four steps in the preparation process. From SafetyInfo:
Step One – one week prior to the audit, inform all affected managers and supervisors. They should be directed to have all records, documents and procedures available when the audits starts.
Step Two – Review all past program area audits and corrective action recommendations.
Step Three – Review all company, local, state and federal requirements for the specific program. Become familiar with the document, inspection and training requirements.
Step Four – Determine the scope of the audit. This can be based on accident and inspection reports and input from various managers. Set a start and stop time & date for the audit.
Step 2 – Find the facts
Next, you need to find the facts. Try not to form an opinion during this stage, as that may color your findings. If you’re working with a team, make assignments to each member relevant to their area of inspection. They should have the proper program background information and documents.
Most safety audits can be broken down into six distinct areas: employee knowledge, written program review, program administration, record and document review, equipment and material, and a general area walk-through. Let’s go over what each entails.
Employee knowledge – OSHA requires effective training, so your employees have the knowledge required to operate in a safe manner. So, depending on the activities the employee is involved in, you’ll need to test their knowledge level. This can be done through written quizzes, formal interviews, and even through informal questions at your Newark, NJ industrial property for sale.
Written program review – You will need to conduct a comprehensive review of the written program. In this, you should compare the program to requirements for hazard identification and control, required employee training and record keeping against the local, state and federal requirements. The insurance carrier may also be asked to conduct a written program review.
Program administration – You will need to check the implementation and management of specific program requirements. Ask questions such as the ones below:
- Is someone assigned and trained to manage the program?
- Have sufficient assets been provided?
- Have specific duties and responsibilities been assigned to people?
- Is there an effective, ongoing employee training program?
Record and document review – Are any program documents or records missing? If yes, that may be an indicator that the program is not working as intended. From SafetyInfo: “Records are the company’s only means of proving that specific regulatory requirements have been met. Record review also includes a look at the results, recommendations and corrective actions from the last program audit.”
Equipment and material – You’ll need to have a look at the condition of materials, and whether hazard control applies in a specific program. Here are some example questions:
- Is the equipment in a safe condition?
- Is personal protective equipment used? Is it stored safely?
- Is there enough equipment to conduct tasks safely?
- Is equipment designed to control hazards effectively? For example, exit light, emergency lights, fire extinguishers, and material storage and handling equipment.
General area walk-through – Generally looking through work areas may provide additional information about the effectiveness of safety programs. You may notice something note-worthy, such as unsafe conditions or unsafe practices. Make a note of these.
Step 3 – Review the facts
SafetyInfo suggests: “After all documents, written programs, procedures, work practices and equipment have been inspected, gather your team and material together to formulate a concise report that details all areas of the program. Remember to focus on the four basic questions mentioned earlier. Each program requirement should be addressed with deficiencies noted. Include comments of a positive nature for each element that is being effectively managed.”
Step 4 – Recommendations for improvement
For each problematic or deficient program, make a list of recommendations. Think your recommendations out well, to make sure they don’t simply create new rules. You don’t want to make tasks more difficult; you want to actually observe how things are being done currently, and see if there’s a simpler way to do them.
Step 5 – Take corrective action
From SafetyInfo: “Development of corrective action should involve the managers and supervisor who will be required to execute the corrections. Set priorities based on level of hazard. All corrective actions should be assigned a completion and review date. Records of completed corrective actions should be reviewed through the normal management chain and then be filed for use during the next audit.”
Step 6 – Publish the results
Finally, let your supervisors and manager know your findings, recommendations and corrective action by publishing the audit results. Acknowledge the departments and personnel who are properly conducting their responsibilities. This will ensure that departments perform better in the future, thus improving the company.
These were all the steps you need to go through in order to perform a thorough safety audit at your workplace. Adapt the steps as necessary, and make sure the audit is performed efficiently and thoroughly. Doing a slipshod job is worse than doing nothing at all, because if you perform an audit that isn’t thorough, you will waste time and resources on a process that doesn’t yield results, and in the future the managers and supervisors will expect you and ramp up safety programs to make sure they meet your standards during the audit.
Find the perfect Newark, NJ industrial property for sale
The Blau & Berg Company specializes in industrial sales and leasing. Your search for the right real estate agents is now over – we have over 80 years of industry experience, and we will put this to good use in helping you select your new property. We have worked with hundreds of clients in the area, for small and large businesses, and we are familiar with the needs of a wide audience.
Our experienced team facilitates site selection, acquisitions, dispositions, portfolio sales and asset repositioning assignments. We are experts in everything regarding industrial buildings and land, so contact us today to find your next business location!