Hastam consultants were engaged to conduct a health and safety management system (HSMS) audit by the governance committee of Imperial College London. This is a world-class university with a mission to benefit society through excellence in science, engineering, medicine and business.
The audit objectives were to evaluate and comment on
- progress with implementing HSMS processes and comment on their effectiveness
- staff competence in their HSMS responsibilities
- the suitability of arrangements for internal auditing of HSMS
- the effectiveness of H&S committee and governance structures for monitoring H&S risk management and performance
- compliance with legal requirements
- opportunities to move towards best practice where there were opportunities for improvement
The audit scope covered the major faculties – Medicine, Natural Sciences, Engineering and Business School. We focused on risk assessment and control, accident investigation, performance monitoring and internal audit as representative elements of the HSMS.
The audit was carried out in accordance with the principles set out in ISO 19011 Guidelines for auditing management systems. The audit process involved documentation review, workplace inspections and interviews with individuals including The Rector, Heads of Department, Campus Safety Managers, Safety Advisors, researchers and student representatives. These semi-structured interviews, using a simple sequence of open questions combined with our knowledge of best practices, were key to the effectiveness of the audit. Given the range of fascinating topics involved in the University’s research it was not always easy to stay focused on H&S management.
Our audit findings and recommendations were presented and discussed in a close out meeting. Our formal report comprised an executive summary setting out all key findings and their corresponding recommendations. Supporting evidence, the rationale for our findings and justification for recommendations were set out in detailed appendices. This was essential to provide the university with an objective basis for developing an action plan from our recommendations.
An excellent review of our progress in implementing recommendations of a previous audit giving us reassurance on our achievements while at the same time encouraging us to adopt more of the 18001 approach to improve standards further.
– Ian Gillett, Safety Director, Imperial College London