Getting executive support to address environmental health and safety issues has been a challenge to the EHS professional. The challenge is made more difficult in trying to find a common language that supports worker safety and the bottom line. However, there is a common ground in that both parties understand risk and the impact that it can have on the organization. Unless, both sides can discuss their position in terms of risk, something gets lost in translation.

Auditing is an independent assessment process that assures management controls are in place to address the risks of the operation. Operational risk can take many forms, for example; compliance with applicable rules and regulations, injury to personnel or production overruns. Operational controls mitigate risk to an acceptable level. These operational controls can also ensure that work is completed safely and an appropriate level of oversight is exercised.

In the case of environmental, health, and safety auditing, independent assessments have grown from an inspection activity where the auditor acts in the role of an inspector, to a consultant where the auditor is looking to improve the safety performance of an organization. This approach helps minimize the risks to the organization and to the employee.

This proceeding will discuss an approach to improve a company's safety performance through operational auditing by an experienced safety professional.

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