Digitizing Safety Audits for Manufacturers: Guidelines & Benefits

Quality working with audits

There are few things more important to the success of a manufacturing business than safety and compliance. A workplace accident or regulatory incident can quickly shut down production and become a costly mistake. Additionally, employees are most productive when they feel safe. 

While we all understand the importance, it’s easy for safety audits to fall behind other tasks that seem more urgent. This is especially true when companies take an outdated paper-based approach which makes it difficult for everyone to have visibility into the audit process. Many modern companies are turning to digital technology for increased transparency and efficiency in the safety audit process.

Why Take a Digital Approach to Safety Audits

A safety audit is a systematic review of a company’s policies and procedures as they relate to safety to ensure that the company is meeting or exceeding industry requirements. Safety audits aren’t just an important step to ensuring a good work environment. They are also crucial to avoid fines or other penalties from regulatory bodies. Safety audits can be conducted internally or with the help of a third-party consultant. Additionally, they may be conducted on a mandatory basis by oversight agencies depending on the requirements in your industry.

There are many benefits to staging your own safety audits. It’s not just about improving compliance posture. It’s also about making sure that your employees know that you value their wellbeing at work. By checking for hazards and compliance concerns on a regular basis, you can prevent workplace accidents and ensure you’re always prepared for a mandatory audit. However, simply going through the motions is not enough. Companies must take an effective approach to internal audits.

safety audit worker

Many companies are finding that a modern, digital approach to safety audits is the most efficient way to compare their current operations to regulatory requirements and find potential hazards and deficiencies. Digital technology makes it easy to…

  • Review audit history and track improvements over time
  • Improve transparency across all departments and levels
  • Ensure checklists are aligned with the most updated industry requirements
  • Brainstorm and execute solutions to issues

…and more. Traditional paper checklists can easily become outdated and it may be difficult to ensure everyone is aligned with access to the same version. Paper copies can end up buried under other paperwork after the audit and follow-up may never occur because we are all dealing with many competing priorities. Digitizing your audit process makes it easy for everyone to access the same information and hold one another accountable for action items. Digital processes are simply easier for everyone, which makes it more likely that a throughout and successful audit will be completed.

How to Digitize Safety Audits

The first step to digitizing your safety audit process is finding the right partner. This means thinking about which features will be most important and helpful for your team. There are several considerations, including…

– User Experience
All successful applications offer aesthetic interfaces and intuitive navigation. Your digital audit checklist tool should be no different. Offering a platform that is easy for employees to navigate makes them more likely to embrace it, as change can be difficult for some. Visual elements like color coding, profile pictures, and checkboxes all contribute to an enjoyable user experience that makes finding assigned tasks simple and gives positive feedback when tasks are completed. Consider how employees will access the platform (mobile often works best for manufacturing companies so that audit information can be accessed from the job site).

– Transparency
One of the biggest limitations of a paper audit checklist is the lack of transparency. Only the person that possesses the single paper copy truly knows where the company is in the audit process. A good digital platform should allow for multiple users and make it easy to view and approve tasks and various levels of the company. This means all managers can be as involved as they need to be.

– Tracking
Digitizing the audit process should make it easy to track and store data. This is a critical feature because it makes it possible to assign corrective action and track progress towards removing hazards on an ongoing basis. Having this data handy may also be helpful in the event of a regulatory audit to demonstrate that steps are being taken.

Most would consider these capabilities essential, but there are other features that may be important to you. For example, do you need a platform that will integrate with your existing systems such as Outlook or an ERP? What about real-time updates or the ability to communicate within the platform?

digital safety audit 1

If you’re looking for a platform that offers all of these things and more, look no further. Schedule your demo today to learn more about Azumuta. We’ll talk you through your needs and the features of our app to help you take the first step to transforming your audit process.

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