How safety audits can significantly reduce your project costs

Carrying out a simple safety audit at the feasibility stage of your project is the best way to save you both time and money on a scheme, as well as ensuring maximum safety on the project. It can pre-empt timely and extensive remedial works that may otherwise need to be carried out to address safety issues.

Safety audits are not always the main priority for an organisation, but they certainly should be. Whilst it is mandatory to have safety audits on any improvements affecting the trunk road or motorway network it is only best practice on any other class of road, however authorities and design organisations should embrace best practice to ensure that any scheme to improve the highway network receives scrutiny through the safety audit process so that it removes any design elements that may be inherently unsafe carrying with them unnecessary risk.

If a safety audit isn’t completed early on in a project, it might mean that you have to make remedial changes once works have already begun, costing you so much more than would be necessary.

The solution? Engaging an audit in the early stages of a scheme, requiring quite minimal effort and much smaller fees.

There are four stages to a safety audit that scrutinise the different elements of the design stage each forming their own independent report, but which dovetail together from feasibility to completion on site.

In an ideal world every large scheme or organisation would ensure necessary safety checks are undertaken, following them up if any further changes are made over time. The sad truth however is that this is often not the case.

My team and I have worked all over the country for a variety of different companies and in varied environments, such as for the Royal Mail Group, risk assessing their sorting offices and yards, Tesco on the design their of car parks and highway interfaces for their new stores and Transport for Greater Manchester on their flagship guided busway project, proving that no development or establishment is above the requirement for stages 1-4 of the road safety audit process.

Andy Devine 

Road safety group leader

Urban Vision, a joint venture with Salford City Council and Galliford Try

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