Regular safety audits are an integral part in ensuring sites are kept to the highest standard of safety, but according to a survey conducted by BLR, only 42.4% of construction sites conducted weekly site inspections. Other industries, even less. However, 86.7% of respondents stated they conducted safety audits of their sites. Of those that do, 57.1% estimate that for every audit, they must spend a week preparing. Dedicating a week’s worth of man hours every month is not always practical, especially when that week’s work involves form replication, chasing down missed submissions, and analyzing the data that remains, but the long-term gains established from regular safety audits far surpass any loss from implementing them.
Consistent, thorough auditing leads to greater insight into site maintenance needs. This insight enables supervisors to plan maintenance around the job, rather than the other way around. Every minute of unplanned downtime costs money that could have been saved by regular auditing procedures. Studies show that mobile data collection can boost the rate at which data is collected and shared throughout a company, which ultimately leads to more timely maintenance and repair. Regular audits allow those responsible for machine or tool maintenance and repair to schedule around the job, because the condition of the machinery is always known. This means that it is much less likely that a piece of equipment will breakdown during the job, leading to downtime and a halt in production.
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Another area in which regular auditing saves is accidents. When accidents occur, dealing with resulting downtime and finding temporary help is expensive and time consuming. Minimizing accidents not only minimizes these costs, but has the added bonus of gaining confidence from employees that the workplace they’re at is looking out for their best interests. Regular audits ensure that the work area is regularly examined and hazards are found before they cause an accident. Catching hazards before they cause an accident reduces the costs associated with not only adjusting the safety measures surrounding the hazard, but also the costs associated with replacing and supporting the individual involved in the accident.
Where teams adopt a more efficient method of performing safety audits, they may also receive insights into how efficient their systems are as a whole, and where additional improvements could be made. These improvements to process and accuracy within process in turn lead to leaps in productivity, and further savings elsewhere.