Performing a compliance audit to protect the most vulnerable

With the summer holiday just having come to an end, most employees will return to work fresh and ready to start another productive year. Health and safety officials have no other option as they are expected to always be ahead of the pack. Especially when you are involved in educational facilities, it will be wise to do a compliance audit immediately to ensure kids' playfulness is compensated.


Learning, Health and Safety Learning
Teacher pointing to raised hands in classroom

Dealing with children is among the toughest jobs one can have. Children are great, as long as they listen and pay attention. The latter is something that often is not the case. Kids have a mind of their own and should be encouraged to explore the world. That also means that someone needs to think ahead and compensate for children's innocence and eagerness to explore.

A compliance audit is vital to ensure that school facilities are safe and healthy. The audit will look into anything that could pose a danger. The audit determines whether the facility is compliant with the law or whether steps should be taken to mitigate any danger. Health and safety should never be allowed to be at risk, but in today's open and vocal society no facility manager or health and safety official can afford to leave possible risks unattended. Especially when children are involved.

Parents rely heavily on schools to contribute to the upbringing of their children and they expect school facilities to always be top-notch. With school fees placing a heavy burden on money available in many households, parents expect that they will pay for the best. They'll never accept their child to have fallen ill or become injured due to an unsafe situation at school, regardless of how innocent this may be.
Performing a compliance audit is, however, something that requires thorough understanding of the law and modern health and safety standards. Although much can be said about the level of education children receive in South Africa, the Department of Education is clear about the modern first-world standards it uses as a benchmark when it comes to the facilities.

Mud hut or impromptu school facilities are increasingly eradicated and replaced by proper facilities. Under the pretext that school governing bodies and management maintain the health and safety standards introduced when the school was opened. The latter should go without saying but, often, quickly fades away when education and training is under pressure. By the time the holiday mood has come to an end, teachers and management will be absorbed in keeping the school going over being one step ahead. Compliance audits are compulsory and can not be underestimated. In theory, schools that do not abide by the health and safety standards set for education facilities, can be closed by governmental health and safety officials. That seems to be far-fetched and unlikely to happen. Still one shouldn't take chances as newspaper headlines will be unforgiven. A child that gets injured, or worse, due to neglect of an adult always catches anybody's attention. Rather establish your compliance by performing a compliance audit than having to explain once to a much more hostile panel later.

Posted date: 20th Jan 2016
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