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By Bobby Purvis, safety consulting services manager, ACRT
One of my favorite quotes is by Ezra Taft Benson, “It is better to prepare and prevent than it is to repair and repent.”
Prevention is always better, accessible, cheaper, and safer than remediation – whether we’re talking vehicle maintenance or personal protective equipment (PPE). Take the time to double-check your safety items and fix or replace any that are in need. One solution that can aid in preventing incidents is conducting a safety audit.
Safety audits are primarily to check the effectiveness of the various programs, they do not take the place of regular facility inspections. Facility safety inspections for hazards and their control should be performed every week by supervisors and every month by management.
There are four basic questions a safety audit should answer. The person or team designated to conduct the audits should take a fact-finding approach to gather data. These auditors should be familiar with both company programs and the various local, state, and federal requirements.
A well-designed field audit
By talking to customers and industry analysts over the years, I’ve come to believe that a well-designed field audit program must support and achieve the following at a minimum: data access, an audit database, data automation, effective distribution, an interactive review process, and next-generation mobile auditing.
Four recommendations for your field audit
A well-designed field audit can provide a wealth of insights to strengthen business performance in organizations. However, each audit is only as good as the processes, people, and technology involved.
At a time when businesses are rapidly expanding and new risks and compliance requirements are constantly emerging, it is critical to get real-time, on-the-ground insights into your operations. Experienced field auditors play an essential part in spotting key risks and issues, leading to proactive performance improvements. However, they also need effective processes and systems. Automated, agile, and mobile-enabled audit workflows, coupled with powerful data management and reporting tools, cannot only help efficiency but also enable a deeper, more sophisticated analysis of audit findings.
ACRT is the largest independent utility consulting company in the U.S. and empowers utilities to proactively manage vegetation across their entire rights-of-way. We consistently stay on top of and share relevant industry content with our employees and customers around the country.