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27/05/2021

Understanding the Purpose and Process of Health & Safety Audits

Here at SMS Europe, we have a range of different Health & Safety Audits to suit all types of businesses. A Health & Safety Audit can assist you in understanding where your business is in terms of its Health and Safety management. You can also identify issues that can form part of an improvement roadmap. 

A safety policy for your business is a legal requirement, as per the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. For businesses with five or more employees, this safety policy should be made in writing. However, without an audit, you may not know whether your safety policy is fit for the purpose. 

Therefore, it is an absolute must that you not only have a health and safety policy in place but a safety audit policy too. This might be undertaken internally, by a member of your dedicated Health & Safety Team, or by an experienced and knowledgeable external auditor, like those from SMS Europe. 

A Health & Safety Audit from SMS Europe will make the process a whole lot easier, eliminating any risk of non-compliance to government regulations, which can result in a hefty fine and prosecution under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Don’t get caught out – request a quote or book your Health & Safety Audit today with SMS Europe, in Leeds, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Harrogate, Hull, and across Yorkshire. To assist you in deciding if you require one, here is what you can expect from a Health and Safety Audit, as well as its purpose, and how it might benefit your business. 

What Is A Health And Safety Audit? 

What is the purpose of an audit? 

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 lays out the requirements for monitoring and reviewing your Health and Safety management and arrangements. Regulation 5 states that “Every employer shall make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the nature of his activities and the size of his undertaking, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures.”

Therefore, a Health and Safety Audit helps clients to ensure that they are meeting legal obligations and business requirements

Added benefits to businesses

Not only does a Health and Safety Audit ensure business compliance to government regulations, by providing detailed action plans with corrective action, but it can also highlight what is being done right. This allows you to praise those who are successfully adhering to safety policy. 

Making sure that you undertake regular safety audits also shows that you are committed to ensuring employee safety, and are willing to go above and beyond to protect customers and employees from injury and illness. This will motivate your employees by showing that their well-being is one of your number one priorities. 

How To Do A Health And Safety Audit 

HS(G)65 Successful Health and Safety Management sets out a framework for managing your business Health and Safety through a system of Plan-Do-Check-Act. This includes independent auditing and reporting, both of which are vital elements of that model.

Typically, a Health and Safety Audit will include:

  • A review of your documentation, making sure you have a suitable Health & Safety policy, practice techniques, quality control processes, and practice standards, plus the necessary documentation. 
  • Review of evidence in practice, interviewing employees, conducting workstation assessments, and observing to what extent safety systems and safety policy are being followed. 

Our audits can benchmark against a specific standard such as HS(G)65 or ISO 45001:2018 (Previously known as OHSAS 18001:2007). Alternatively, we can audit against a specific piece of Health and Safety legislation that will appraise the compliance of an organisation to specific Health and Safety Law.

After the Health & Safety assessment, required improvements will be advised through action plans, which acts as a map to improvement. This sets forth any suggested corrective action, remedial action, or enforcement action which could be beneficial for the continual improvement of your safety performance, and long-term improvements to your safety policy. 

How SMS Europe Can Help 

Here at SMS Europe, we offer a variety of health and safety audit services for single-site organisations or multi-site organisations. We’ll provide you with a road map to improve and enhance your safety performance. Here is an overview of the health and safety audit services we are proud to offer. 

  • Health & Safety Audit 

With a health and safety audit from SMS Europe, we take an overview of your health and safety management systems, making sure it complies with the relevant government legislation and practice standards. We will then provide you with prioritised action plans, which focuses on corrective action, remedial action, and enforcement action. This health and safety audit is recommended to be completed once a year. 

  • HS(G)65 Audit 

This health and safety audit places a distinct focus on a proper performance review of a business’s safety management systems. As well as that, it looks at compliance with the relevant government legislation and business requirements. These audits provide an in-depth action plan on how to improve your safety management systems. 

  • ISO45001 Audit – Gap Analysis and 1st and 2nd Stage Audits 
  • Compliance Audit 

With pre-existing full health and safety management systems in place, you may find it useful to review specific aspects of your compliance with the legislature. We will focus on the legislature that is relevant to the types of organisations, including, but not limited to, the Work at Height Regulations 2005, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005, and the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. We recommend this type of health and safety audit in large organisations. Doing so allows us to assess, with objectivity under review, how well safety policy has been implemented. 

  • Bespoke Audit 

If the type of health and safety audit you require is not as simple as selecting one of the audits that are mentioned above. Then our expert assessment consultants can work with you to develop and carry out bespoke safety audits to meet all your needs for continual improvement. 

  • Health and Safety Audit Training 

For long-term improvements in safety performance, SMS Europe can also provide an in-house course for your health and safety team, providing health and safety audit training that is relevant to your type of work and cover everything relevant to that of your employees. 

Contact Us For A Health And Safety Audit, Carried Out By One Of Our Expert Consultants.

Each employer has a duty to employ effective and appropriate health and safety policy, and to monitor and review their safety systems accordingly. Thus, in the past couple of decades, we have helped numerous clients to fulfil this duty and comply with any relevant health and safety laws. With such experience, our auditors are perfectly equipped to make an expert assessment of all types of organisations.


With SMS Europe, contacting us to book a Health & Safety Audit, or enquiring about any of our other services, is simple, and could help you to protect your workers from a wide range of health and safety risks. You can get in touch with our dedicated specialists by calling 0845 224 0028.

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