A safety audit analyzes an organization’s security policies and situations to identify potential risks, comply with standards, and verify the overall security management system works properly. These audits are carried out by internal safety teams or external auditors with expertise in occupational health and safety. Safety audit results provide valuable insights to management in making informed decisions, improving safety measures, and creating a safer workplace.
Safety audits hold particular significance in environments where employees, the public, or the environment are at risk. Construction sites, manufacturing and industrial facilities, and chemical and pharmaceutical industries are commonly subjected to safety audits. Safety audits’ specific focus and prerequisites may fluctuate based on the industry and the nature of operations.
Safety audits are pivotal in identifying and addressing potential risks and hazards across various sectors. In 2023, government agencies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India issued 2859 tenders for safety audits of diverse facilities. Maharashtra published 313 tenders, Odisha published 285 tenders, and Uttar Pradesh published 251 tenders, securing the top positions. This study elaborates on the bridge safety audit, road safety audit, and electrical safety audit.
Bridge Safety Audit
A bridge safety audit is a systematic review and analysis of the safety aspects associated with the bridge system. Such an audit aims to identify potential hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities related to bridge design construction and ongoing maintenance. The primary areas addressed in bridge safety assessments are structural integrity, traffic safety, and environmental impact bridge safety. These are conducted by auditors well-versed in civil engineering and bridge safety. This audit analysis helps authorities and stakeholders make appropriate decisions on the maintenance, upgrade, or replacement of the bridge that ensures its continued safety and operational efficiency.
Government agencies in India procure bridge safety audits to uphold public safety, prevent accidents, and ensure critical infrastructure’s long-term integrity and functionality within their jurisdiction. Among the 2859 safety audit tenders, 462 were published to conduct safety audits for bridges across various states. These safety audits are often performed by third-party inspection. Third-party inspection refers to the process of hiring an independent, external organization or individual to assess and verify the quality, compliance, and conformity of products, services, processes, or systems. This third party is not directly involved in designing, manufacturing, or implementing the inspected items, ensuring an unbiased and impartial evaluation. Third-party inspection is commonly employed in manufacturing, oil and gas, and aerospace industries.
Bridge inspection tenders are released to systematically identify potential risks, hazards, and vulnerabilities throughout various phases of bridge construction. The significance of safety audits in bridge construction lies in ensuring strict adherence to safety standards and practices throughout the construction process. For example, RNB Gujarat published tenders for seeking consultancy services for third-party inspection, quality assurance, and technical audit (QATA) for a central bridge on River Chaparwadi on the Gondal Trakuda Jamkandorana road in Rajkot District. Similarly, MES Maharashtra issued tenders for a structural audit to assess the residual life of a bridge at DFFR, School of ARTY, Devlali.
These tenders for bridge safety audits are issued not just for construction purposes but also for the maintenance of bridges. Safety audits are pivotal in guiding maintenance efforts by identifying potential issues, recommending improvements, and ensuring that maintenance procedures strictly adhere to the highest safety standards. For example, JKPWD issued tenders for the maintenance of the steel footbridge at Sanai under safety audit bridges. Similarly, PWD Uttarakhand released tenders to replace a damaged deck and strengthen the Ramjhulla bridge tower in the Narendranagar constituency of District Tehri Garhwal under the maintenance of damaged bridges.
Road Safety Audit
A road safety audit is a formal assessment done for a road project. The primary purpose of this audit is to identify potential safety issues. The process includes thoroughly examining the project design and inspection of sites. Qualified professionals with civil engineering experience do these audits.
Various government agencies in India published twenty 196 road safety audit tenders. For example, NHAI in Tamil Nadu issued tenders to appoint a road safety consultant for project packages under PIU-Dindigul. Similarly, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation in Andhra Pradesh published tenders for the study, survey, and preparation of a detailed project report for a road safety audit within the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation.
Electrical Safety Audit
An electrical safety audit examines an organization’s electrical systems to assess compliance with safety standards. These audits are conducted in various government departments, such as hospitals, government offices, and industries. Across different states, approximately 300 electrical safety audit tenders were issued. For example, the Government of India ePublishing System in Rajasthan released tenders for conducting an electrical safety audit at BTPS for 2023-24. Likewise, IOCL in West Bengal issued tenders for an electrical safety audit at consumer locations in Kolkata.
Healthcare departments have published a considerable number of tenders for the implementation of electrical safety audits in hospitals. For example, the Directorate of Health Services in Madhya Pradesh issued tenders for fire safety work and electrical audit work in Rani Durgavati Hospital in Jabalpur district. Similarly, Mantralaya PWD in Maharashtra issued tenders for repairing and replacing the electrical distribution system of Govt. Mayo Hospital Nagpur, as per the recommendations of the electrical safety audit.
As of February 4, 2024, there are 43 active tenders for safety audits spanning across different states in India. Maharashtra presents 10 tenders at 23%, West Bengal offers 8 at 19%, and Gujarat and Rajasthan give 7 tenders each at 16%. Tamil Nadu follows with 5 tenders at 12%, and Kerala and Delhi contribute 3 tenders each at 7%.
This analysis emphasizes the crucial role of safety audits in cultivating a safety-conscious culture, ensuring regulatory adherence, and facilitating well-informed decision-making. It provides a comprehensive overview of safety audits in diverse sectors, highlighting their role in critical infrastructure maintenance, road safety enhancement, and electrical system reliability. The substantial number of tenders issued signifies a proactive approach toward ensuring the well-being of communities and the longevity of essential infrastructure. Firms providing these services are encouraged to actively participate in and monitor pertinent tender processes to capitalize on potential business prospects.