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What are safety audit?

Audit is a systematic and, wherever possible, independent examination to determine whether activities and related results conform to planned arrangements and whether these arrangements are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve the organization's policy and objectives.
(BS8800: 1996 Guide to Occupational health and safety management systems)

The health and safety management audit our members adopted is a structured process of collecting independent information on the efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of the total H&S management system and drawing up plans for corrective action.

Auditing examines each stages in the H&S management system by measuring compliance with the controls the organisation has developed, with the ultimate aim of assessing their effectiveness and their validity for the future.
(Successful H&S Management, HS(G)65)

Are there many types of safety audit?

Well, roughly speaking, we could sum up at least six types of audit which are related to health and safety:

Health and safety audits
"Walk around audit"
Health and safety management audit
Project Health, Safety & Environmental (HSE) auditing
Process safety audit
Product safety audit
The Safety & Health Audit Recognition Programme (SHARP)
Auditor List for SHARP


Health and safety audits

Objectives of this type of safety auditing are to inform the company:

How well it is performing in H&S
Whether managers and others are meeting the standards which the company has set itself
Whether the company is complying with the H&S laws which affect its business With the view that the company making any improvements identified as necessary from this information.

Audit of a Health and Safety Plan

Audit of a Health and Safety Plan is the review of this plan at the end of the year.

The audit consists of two parts. The first is intended to provide a simple overview of progress in terms of time. The second is intended to expand on the information provided in the first part by giving reasons as to why any missed deadlines were not met, detailing any benefits gained by the activities undertaken in the time period covered by the plan, and including any other relevant information that will assist in drawing up the plan for the next 12 months.

The audit looks into the progress of the existing plan as well as the contents and format of the plan.

" walk around audit"

A " walk around audit" is to determine whether the health and safety policies of the company are being properly implemented and to identify areas in which policy effectiveness needs to be improved.

H&S management audits

One of the main problems with H&S audits of the above type is that they tend to examine H&S problems from the symptoms rather than causes of the problems. They rarely focus entirely on the management of H&S.

H&S Management audits look into the following areas:

  1. Does the company have adequate procedures for identifying specific H&S requirements which apply to its undertakings?
  2. Are the procedures followed and are responsibilities set out clearly and understood?
  3. Does the company's H&S policy documentation include adequate procedures for identifying hazards which exists at the workplace, and for assessing regularly the risks to employees and others affected by the workplace and workplace activities in order to identify the measures needed to avoid their exposure to risks of harm?
  4. Are adequate risk assessment procedures also set out for hazards of products and /or services supplied by the company in order to identify the measures needed to avoid risks of harm to people such as distributors, customers, end-users and members of the public?
  5. Are the procedures in 3. and 4. followed, and are responsibilities set out clearly and understood?
  6. Does the company have adequate procedures for setting, reviewing and revising as necessary its health and safety standards for meeting specific H&S requirements and for meeting its general duties to protect employees and others form risks identified in the company's risk assessments?
  7. Do the procedures for setting company standards include the identification of measurable targets which can be audited to monitor the level of compliance with company standards?
  8. Are the procedures in 5. and 6. followed and are responsibilities set out clearly and understood?
  9. Does the company have adequate procedures for planning, implementing, controlling, monitoring and reviewing the measures identified in 3. and 4. ?
  10. Does the company have adequate procedures for carrying out H&S audits to check that the procedures in 9. are followed and that the measures in 3. and 4. are effective?

Project Health, Safety & Environmental (HSE) auditing

Project HSE auditing provides the method for monitoring and controlling HSE activities and procedures throughout the life of the project. It comprises of two activities:

Formal audits
Regular and ad-hoc inspections

The formal audits provide a more comprehensive and formal assessment of compliance with HSE procedures and plans. They should be carried out at key points during the project life cycle.
(Total project management of construction S,H &E. European Construction Institute)


It is a self-evaluation audit which aims at:

    1. gather all relevant documentation covering process safety management requirements at a specific facility
    2. determine the program's implementation and effectiveness by following up on their application to one or more selected processes.


Safety Audit is important in the product design and development stages. It is to ensure that the company had adequately protected the user of a product from hazards that it did not know existed. This type of audit is to

Identify and classify hazards associated with the product i.e. catastrophic, critical, occasional, remote, or improbable
Develop a hazard risk index and priority setting
Get employee to present design alternatives and to review for feasibility
(Accident Prevention Manual for Business and Industry, NSC)

Safety Management Audit Rating Tool (SMART)

Safety Management Audit Rating Tool (SMART) is developed by the Society of Accredited Safety Auditors for assessing the occupational safety and health management system of contractors in construction work.

The design of SMART is based on British Standard BS8800:1996 Guide to Occupational health and safety management systems and standards set by local legislation. SMART provides an easy step by step assessment of the site health and safety management functions and its compliance with local legislation. Its aim is to unveil deficiency and weakness of the system for the management which in turn would help the management to further improve on site health and safety management.

SAMART can be used as an in-house management tool for self-assessment and it can be used by an external auditor for an independent audit. A scoring system is introduced to help in setting baseline for further improvement and for comparison among sites of the company.

1.   The Safety & Health Audit Recognition Programme (SHARP)

     The Safety & Health Audit Recognition Programme (SHARP) is developed and administered by the Society of Accredited Safety Auditors Ltd. (SASA) and The Hong Kong Registered Safety Auditors Association (HKRSAA) (collectively referred to as the Programme Administrator or PA) to enhance the professional standard and performance of safety and health audits conducted in accordance with the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety Management) Regulations.  The objective is to procure excellent and quality audits that are well above legal requirements and trade expectation so as to achieve advancement in the occupational safety and health performance in Hong Kong.  

Auditors enrolled in this programme (SHARP Auditors) undertake that they will abide by the criteria of safety audit practice issued by the PA from time to time.  Audit reports prepared by SHARP Auditors will bear a label and a seal of the SHARP Auditor issued under this programme on the cover page confirming that the audit was conducted and the report was prepared in accordance with the criteria set under SHARP.  Audits that are conducted in accordance with SHARP may gain respected recognition and popularity amongst factory proprietors and contractors as they signify quality audits and quality reports.


Auditor List for SHARP
SASA Member


WONG Yum Yin


LO Wai Leung, Clint


LEUNG Wai Kwong, Daron


CHAN Siu Fu, Victor

M011 TONG Cheuk Wah


MAN Tak Chuen


LAM Kwok Ping


CHAN Chi Man, Steve


CHAN Tak Sang


TANG Wai Hung


LAM Chi Sing


LIN Wai Ming






CHUNG Fun Cheung


KWOK Wai Yin