Safety Review

By Tabitha Mishra
Last updated: March 3, 2019

What Does Safety Review Mean?

A safety review is a thorough examination of a worksite with the intent of uncovering safety hazards and other risks. It includes an assessment of the effectiveness of the organization’s safety programs and initiatives.

The goal of a safety review is to ascertain whether safety programs and policies are working as intended, while also identifying opportunities for improvement.

Safeopedia Explains Safety Review

A safety review provides an employer with a full assessment of the hazards present in their workplace. These reviews are often used as part of project management methodologies, such as lean project management.

Safety Reviews and Safety Audits

Safety reviews are similar to safety audits in many respects, since both are comprehensive evaluations of a company's safety programs. The main difference is the intent with which they are undertaken.

The aim of a safety audit is to determine whether an employer is in compliance with all relevant safety regulations and legislation. They are typically conducted by inspectors who represent a regulatory body.

Safety reviews, on the other hand, are conducted by the employer in order to evaluate and improve their safety performance.

The distinction is slightly blurred in cases where safety reviews are legally required. In some jurisdictions, especially in industries with an elevated level of a safety risk, a safety review is a mandatory practice. For instance, the Canadian province of Ontario requires “pre-start” safety reviews (PSRs) prior to engaging in certain safety-sensitive activities for the first time. In PSRs, the owner, lessee, or employer is required to ensure that workers are safe while using any apparatus, structure, or process in the workplace.

Unlike a safety audit, however, these mandatory safety reviews are a requirement for safety compliance, rather than an inspection to ensure that the organization’s operations conform with regulations.

Employer Due Diligence Obligations

Regulations that ensure safety compliance and government legislation work in harmony to uphold governmental laws that involve health and safety. Although not comprehensive. OSHA regulations outline the minimum requirement to ensure the safety of the employee while controlling risk to the company.

OSHA also imposes a general duty on employers to ensure that their employees are able to work safely. Conducting a safety review is one step employers can take to meet this requirement.


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