Auditing

The established OHSMS supports the top management in the implementation of the OHS vision and policy. The review and evaluation of the performance and effectiveness of the OHSMS is performed by audits. This kind of periodical inspection and assessment of the actual situation of the management system is an important part of the continuous improvement of the OHSMS. The Audit is a systematic, independent and documented process. With it, the company receives an evidence and evaluation of the status of the audited parts, based on a comparison against predetermined criteria. The audit scope with the extends and boundaries is previously defined refers to workplaces, activities, processes, as well as the time period covered. Contractors and suppliers can be audited by the company as well. The audit is conducted by a team of one or more auditors and a leader, supported if needed by technical experts. The independence and impartiality of the auditor against the audited activities and the auditee during the performance or freedom from bias and conflict of interest is important in general. The audit based on the audit program. It defined e. g. objectives, scope, frame, criteria and methods. The audit leader prepared the audit plan, which describes the scheduling and coordination of the audit activities. The results were documented in the audit report. Internal audits are conducted by the organization itself for management review and other internal purposes, e.g. to confirm the effectiveness of the management system or to obtain information and approaches for controls or for the improvement of the management system. A classic form of internal audits is reviews of work situation with check lists. These can be used regularly or on special occasions. Occasions this may be: Incidents, increased frequency of incidents, changes in risk assessment, new contractors. Advantages of the checklists are on the one hand that inspection will be carried out and documented. On the other hand these lists can also be used to initiate improvement measures. In this way audits provide a contribution to the continuous improvement of the system. External audits can be conducted by parties having an interest in the organization, such as customers, or by other persons on their behalf (second party audit). On the other site External audits can conducted by independent auditing organizations, such as regulators or those providing certification (third party audit). More information about auditing can be found in ISO 19011 - Guidelines for auditing management systems. For the OHS, the OHSAS 18001 - Occupational healthand safety management systems - has been proven as an internationally recognized standard for OHSMS. During the launch of AG-MS and at regular intervals (e. g. annually) internal audits takes place, covering all areas and activities of the company. The company must prepare an audit program provide resources necessary and communicate the audit program to the involved persons. The audit results and audit follow-up must be communicated and implemented in the company. The audit results are consulted to management review, as they serve as proof to the Authority.

If the internal audit shows, that the company’s OHS is regulated and standardised according to the OHS-elements described above, and the basic principle of continuous improvement is followed, it is recommended to certify the OHSMS in compliance with an appropriately internationally recognized standard (such as OHSAS 18001). This allows the company to prove easily the fulfillment of external requirements, by the means of the certificate.