How to quantify the Benefits of Internal and External OHS audits?

S

samsung

#1
Recently I've been tasked to quantify the benefits of internal and external OHS audits on an annual basis. The purpose is to draw a baseline against which annual data can be compared. I'm trying to find a way out to deduce the benefits in measurable terms but with no success except concluding that the number of problems that previously existed are either now no more or have atleast reduced from the previous level.

Can anyone suggest me a way to do and present it in a logical way.
 
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John Broomfield

Leader
Super Moderator
#2
Re: How to quantify the benefits of internal & external OHS audits?

samsung,

May I suggest surveying your auditees as customers?

What value are they getting from internal audits and external audits?

Ratings could be quantitative (perhaps on a Likert scale) and qualititative (perhaps with some specific examples of improvements arising from audit).

Hopefully you are also able to detect any dependency on audit, perhaps by measuring the CARs initiated by audits versus those initiated by other events.

BTW, here is my paper on the value of well-crafted nonconformity statements.

One of the side-benefits of taking this approach could be an improved auditing programme.

John
 
S

samsung

#3
Re: How to quantify the benefits of internal & external OHS audits?

John has produced an excellent paper (hyperlinked in his above post) on the value of well-crafted nonconformity statements but still I'm looking for some direct and logical ways to quantify the benefits accrued from internal & external OHS auditing.

I also tried to have a 'customer (auditee) survey' but it could not be ascertained from the outcome that the improvements reported by the respondents actually resulted from the audits alone. Most of the corrective actions implemented during past couple of years were mainly the results of increased level of awareness, self assessment, facility walk around or management review and only a negligible proportion could be attributed to internal or external audits.

Anyone who has really done a meaningful analysis or an exercise proving the worth of OHS audits, may share the views and results.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
#4
Audits are a means to verify a system is defined, implemented and is effective. The system is unquestionably the means to achieve rewards:

1) Fewer workplace injuries and health issues, resulting in (one leads to the next)
a) less lost work time,
b) better employee retention,
c) enhanced readiness-to-work, from skilled and caring people staying on the job versus needing replacements
d) increased customer satisfaction.

2) Improved reputation as an employer

3) Enhanced standing in the community

4) Money saved on fines and legal redress from workplace accidents.

While a good system can arguably do this without an internal and external audit function, the auditor brings certain benefits:

1) Not being part of the group that owns the process, the auditor may observe issues or patterns of issues that internal people do not.

2) Being outside of the group that owns the process means improvements can be driven expediently, via the non-conformance process.

3) Customers and the community tend to respect a system more if they know it's being scrutinized by entities that do #1 and #2.

I can appreciate your question. In today's hard driving management environment I am constantly having to justify my value. But I can point to many violations of the law that I, the internal auditor have forced to be corrected: violations that would have brought fines if some bad thing eventually happened and we were to go under government or legal scrutiny. That amounts to real money but prevention is always harder to prove than a bad event's occurrence and consequences. For that you can point to organizations that did not have an objective, attentive and devoted audit program, and the ghastly consequences of getting it systematically wrong and no one making the corrections.

But suppose something does go wrong in spite of the audits. OSHA has a policy of giving an organization credit for having a functioning program - doing so indicates the organization is intent upon doing the right thing. I don't know what kind of equivalent exists in your area, but I can vouch that this also works in legal circles, by ruling out negligence.

Lastly, if the auditor is skilled and educated in matters of workplace safety, you could actually do the math and point to that person's help in an ROI study of, for example getting a chemical labeling system cleaned up so employees don't drink acid when they believe they will be sipping water.

I hope this helps!
 
S

samsung

#5
Audits are a means to verify a system is defined, implemented and is effective. The system is unquestionably the means to achieve rewards:

1) Fewer workplace injuries and health issues, resulting in (one leads to the next)
a) less lost work time,
b) better employee retention,
c) enhanced readiness-to-work, from skilled and caring people staying on the job versus needing replacements
d) increased customer satisfaction.

2) Improved reputation as an employer

3) Enhanced standing in the community

4) Money saved on fines and legal redress from workplace accidents.

While a good system can arguably do this without an internal and external audit function, the auditor brings certain benefits:

1) Not being part of the group that owns the process, the auditor may observe issues or patterns of issues that internal people do not.

2) Being outside of the group that owns the process means improvements can be driven expediently, via the non-conformance process.

3) Customers and the community tend to respect a system more if they know it's being scrutinized by entities that do #1 and #2.

I can appreciate your question. In today's hard driving management environment I am constantly having to justify my value. But I can point to many violations of the law that I, the internal auditor have forced to be corrected: violations that would have brought fines if some bad thing eventually happened and we were to go under government or legal scrutiny. That amounts to real money but prevention is always harder to prove than a bad event's occurrence and consequences. For that you can point to organizations that did not have an objective, attentive and devoted audit program, and the ghastly consequences of getting it systematically wrong and no one making the corrections.

But suppose something does go wrong in spite of the audits. OSHA has a policy of giving an organization credit for having a functioning program - doing so indicates the organization is intent upon doing the right thing. I don't know what kind of equivalent exists in your area, but I can vouch that this also works in legal circles, by ruling out negligence.

Lastly, if the auditor is skilled and educated in matters of workplace safety, you could actually do the math and point to that person's help in an ROI study of, for example getting a chemical labeling system cleaned up so employees don't drink acid when they believe they will be sipping water.

I hope this helps!
Excellent post and I believe I'm close to finding the clue to success through following the direction and also the link shown by you. It does help me. I'll certainly ponder over the areas pointed by you and shortly I'll let you know the outcome.

Thanks.
 
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