Personal Audits (Pre-Task Planning) – Tool Box Talks

When the word audit
is mentioned, people generally think of a negative experience, an Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) tax audit or of a confrontation. However, it is possible
for audits to be positive.


First, let’s
consider the definition of audit.


A systematic or methodical review; to examine with intent to verify.


Audits can apply to
your job. From a safety standpoint there is only one way to do a job – the safe
way. Safety needs to be the first consideration in everything we do. It is
possible that we may not always be doing this, so our continuing efforts to
review or think about our jobs are auditing.

Contrary to an IRS
audit which evaluates what we did not record, our job audit should evaluate
what we did record. If we take the time to at least mentally think out the
steps that we go through to perform a task, we can audit it to ensure we are


Auditing ourselves
Look at these things prior to completing a task:


  • PPE, do we have the correct eye
    protection? The correct gloves? Protective footwear?

  • Do we need any special PPE such as a
    chemical apron or a harness?

  • Is our PPE in good condition?

  • Do we have the correct tools and are
    they in good shape?

  • Do we know how to operate the tools or

  • Do we know how to accomplish the task

  • Do we know the harmful energy sources
    around the area and have we isolated them?

  • Do I have the training to do this job?

  • Who is working around me?

  • Would I want my family watch me do
    this task this way?


These are a just a
few of the questions we should ask. However, they include some of the most
important ones. Ensure you do a quick audit, prior to accomplishing a task. A
more thorough one should be done if we’re doing something for the first time or
for the first time in a long time.


Take the time to
ask yourself these questions, do not become complacent that the work is the
same as it was yesterday.