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An audit is a tool that you can use to assess compliance in the workplace. An audit involves a survey to:
Under OSHA, safety audits may be voluntary, or they may be required. In a voluntary audit, the facility conducts the audit to evaluate compliance status or to identify any suspected problems.
Audits can be mandatory, however, if they are part of the settlement of an enforcement action between a governmental agency and your company. EPA and OSHA regularly include an audit requirement in their settlement agreements with companies that have significant environmental or safety violations.
Audits may also be mandated by regulations, such as OSHA's Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard, 29 CFR 1910.119.
How can audits help?
When properly conducted, an audit can help to identify and correct regulatory deficiencies, which, in turn, can improve workplace safety and help reduce liability.
Audits can serve to increase employee awareness and understanding of environmental and safety regulations, and the audit process can also be an opportunity to demonstrate your company's commitment to compliance.
Workplace audits may be viewed favorably by regulatory agencies. A thoroughly completed audit with proper follow-up can signal that your company is making a good-faith effort to comply with applicable regulatory requirements.
For more information on this topic, visit the J.J. Keller & Associates Web site at www.jjkeller.com.