How to Perform a Successful Visual Safety Audit

A visual safety audit is a protocol that should be carried out by business owners regularly, assessing the current workplace and ensuring safety standards are met. The process analyzes the physical aspects of a site to identify any potential safety hazards which could be detrimental to the well-being of employees and any visitors to the site.

To carry out a comprehensive visual safety audit, here are the steps which should be taken to ensure no stone is left unturned, contributing towards a safer working environment by introducing improvements.

Reviewing current policies

Before any improvements can be made, it is important to fully analyze the existing procedures which are in place. From Forklift Safety Rules to safety products needed to safely operate machinery, work alongside members of every department to get a thorough understanding of how things are currently run and evaluate whether these procedures align with industry standards and regulations, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Once this review has been carried out, it will be much easier to identify areas for improvement and create a more informed action plan.

Get employees involved

The most valuable insights come from working alongside employees, speaking directly to those who carry out the same processes day in and day out. Making time to have discussions with members of staff from across the business to encourage them to share their experiences and opinions will not only provide valuable insight but will make employees feel more heard within the organization. This feedback provides invaluable insights which can be used to identify potential hazards, safety protocols, a lack of training, or any confusion about how incidents should be handled.

Analyze the workplace

A physical inspection of the workplace allows the assessor to spot any potential hazards which could be present in the workplace. Whether this be trailing wires, poor lighting, unsuitable fire exits, or a lack of cleaning, inspecting every area within the business will draw attention to issues that may have otherwise been missed completely.

Consider visual communication needs

Non-verbal communication is crucial in a workplace, especially where hazards are present, so it is important to consider safety signage and the visibility of any warnings across the site. Standard signage will include warning signs, emergency exit signs, the locations of fire extinguishers, emergency eye wash stations, as well as any others which draw attention to any heavy-duty machinery or vehicles operating in the area. All of this signage must be clear to read, located in a visible location, easy to understand, and maintained to ensure it remains legible.

Implement action

Now that a thorough audit has been carried out, plenty of areas for improvement should have been established. Categorize the necessary actions based on urgency and make a realistic schedule to implement the changes needed, allocating manpower, time, and any necessary resources to ensure a realistic chance of implementation. A visual safety audit should be continually referred to, planning time for regular site analysis to continue monitoring processes and stay on top of any issues before they have time to escalate.

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