Companies worry too much about the cost of doing something. They should worry about the cost of not doing it. -- Philip Kotler

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What is a Health and Safety Audit?
A health and safety audit is a comprehensive review of an employer's health and safety management system against a recognized provincial standard. Employers registered in the Partnerships in Injury Reduction (PIR) program conduct an audit to qualify for a Certificate of Recognition (COR)

The specific audit instrument used must be approved by Partnerships and sanctioned by the employers Certifying Partner. Audits are designed to verify that the employer has implemented the fundamental elements of a health and safety management system and audit data is gathered through employee interviews, documentation review, and workplace observations by the certified auditor

What is an Audit Instrument?
An audit instrument is a written protocol that organizes audit procedures into a sequence of steps, and specifies the actions to be taken by the auditor. It includes a series of audit questions, and scoring guidelines for these questions. The audit instrument guides the auditor in evaluating specific elements of the health and safety management system using representative interviews with all employee levels, a thorough review of applicable documentation, and observations of workplace conditions and practices.

There are three types of Audits:

  1. External Audit: An external audit is a systematic review carried out by a certified auditor who is external to the employer being audited. The auditor cannot have been involved in the development or implementation of the health and safety system being audited, and must not in any way be accountable for the effectiveness of the health and safety program of the audited organization. An external audit is required for COR certification and recertification.
  2. Maintenance (Internal) Audit: A maintenance audit is a systematic review conducted annually to maintain an employers COR status between certification years. Maintenance audits must be conducted by a certified auditor who may be internal to the employer being audited. In other words, maintenance audits may be conducted by certified auditors who work for the employer being evaluated.
  3. Peer Audit: In a Peer Audit system, employers with a certified auditor on staff make their auditor(s) available to carry out an external audit for another, unrelated employer. In return, the CP will assign an auditor from a different unrelated employer to conduct the employers external audit. The pool of available auditors is managed by the Certifying Partner, who assigns the audit schedules and ensures that all participating auditors are certified, work in an industry similar to that of the employer being audited, and have no relationship to the audited employer. Certifying Partners will also ensure that no cross-audits occur, and that auditors will not find themselves in a conflict of interest.

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