Arrangements including documented procedures to conduct periodic audits shall be established in order to determine whether the OSHMS and its elements are in place, adequate, and effective in protecting the safety and health of employees and preventing incidents.
An audit program shall be developed, which includes a designation of auditor competency, the audit scope, audit methodology and reporting.
The audit includes an evaluation of the organization’s OSHMS elements or a subset of these, as appropriate.
Audits shall be conducted by competent person(s) internal or external to the organization who are independent of the activity being audited.
The audit results and audit conclusions shall be communicated to those responsible for corrective action(s).
An audit programme and procedure should be developed, which includes defining the criteria ofauditor competency, the audit scope, audit methodology and reporting.
The audit should identify the audit objectives, criteria and cover all areas and activities within the scope of the OSHMS.
An audit program should be planned, established, implemented and maintained by the organisation, based on the results of risk assessments of the organisation‟s activities, and the results of previous audits.
An audit program should address the following :
a) Providing the resources required for successful implementation of the audit programme;
b) Establishing and maintaining the selection, training and registering of the organisation auditor;
c) Establishing control of all audit record, document and their circulation and communication to relevant and approved parties; and
d) Planning coordinating and scheduling of audit. Audit procedure(s) should be established, implemented and maintained.
The procedures should address the responsibilities, competencies, and requirements for planning and conducting audits, reporting results and retaining related records.
The frequency of audit should be predetermined before commencement.
Such frequency and coverage of audit are dependent on the risks associated with the failure of the various element and sub-element of the OSHMS, performance of the OSHMS, the output of management review as well as the extent of changes expected from the OSHMS or the organisation activities.
Additional audit may need to be performed if the results of previous audit, the occurrence of incidents or other circumstances indicate that they are necessary.
The audit includes an evaluation of the organisation’s OSHMS elements or a sub-element of these, as appropriate.
The audit should cover:
Responsibility and accountability;
Competence and training;
System planning, development and implementation;
Prevention and control measures;
Management of change;
Emergency prevention, preparedness and response;
Performance monitoring and measurement;
Investigation of work-related fatalities, injuries, disabilities, ill health, diseases and near misses and their impact on environment and the overall safety and health performance;
Preventive and corrective actions;
Continual improvement; and
Any other audit criteria or elements that may be appropriate.
Audits should be conducted by competent persons, internal or external to the organisation that is independent of the activity being audited.
The internal auditor should be selected and trained bythe organisation in a manner to ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process.
The OSHMS audit process consists of series of well planned phases.
Each phase is intended to achieve certain objectives and is dependent on the results of the preceding phase.
The OSHMS audit phases can be divided into:
a) Before Audit
who, what, when, where, and how related to audit objective, criteria and scope.
Preparation-tools needed for audit
b) During (site) Audit
Verifying compliance to audit criteria by reviewing documentation, interviewing keypersons and observing work conditions.
c) After Audit
Write audit report
d) Conducting audit follow up
The audit conclusion should determine whether the implemented OSHMS elements or a sub-element of these:
a) are effective in meeting the organisation’s OSH policy and objectives;
b) are effective in promoting full employee participation;
c) respond to the results of OSH performance evaluation and previous audits;
d) enable the organisation to achieve compliance with relevant national laws andregulations; and
e) fulfil the goals of continual improvement and best OSH practice.
The audit findings and conclusions should be submitted to the management or appropriate and responsible committee who would deliberate on the findings.
The necessary recommendations should be communicated to all relevant parties as soon as possible, to allow preventive and corrective actions to be taken.