What Is a Safety Gap Analysis?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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Safety gap analysis is a critical evaluation to find the gaps between an organization’s current safety culture and the standards it wants to meet. It can be used to prepare for reforms or audit a company to determine if changes to the organizational culture are necessary. Third party organizations can act as neutral auditors to review a company, or this process can be internal. One benefit to a third party is that the chances of bias are lower, as it receives compensation regardless of the findings, instead of experiencing pressure to give a company a pass on safety.

One aspect of this process involves the identification of the standards the company is aiming for. These can include regulations pertaining to health and safety that companies must meet, as well as internal protocols, which may be more strict. It is important to have a clear understanding of the company’s needs before starting a safety gap analysis. This process can include passing out questionnaires, watching people at work, reviewing manuals, and other measures to see how the company handles safety issues.


In the course of the evaluation, gaps may be identified between the standards and the actual practices at a company. These can be discussed in a detailed report. This document may highlight the most important shortcomings and could create a ranking of priorities to help a company tackle specific issues. The safety gap analysis can provide recommendations for handling particular concerns, which may include better training, clearer instruction manuals, an the use of measures like incentive programs to encourage employees to change working habits.

This process can take varying lengths of time, depending on the size of a company, the kinds of work it performs, and the depth of the review. Results of a safety gap analysis are internal, and not distributed to members of the public. In the event of an incident, the company may be asked to provide evidence about its safety practices, in which case this document could be subject to review by regulatory officials. The corresponding action plan to address specific concerns can also be made available to demonstrate that the company formulated a response to increase worker safety.

Companies may save money with safety gap analysis, in addition to protecting employees and the general public. Cutting down on violations can make a company operate more smoothly and may reduce the risk of liability. Insurance providers could offer benefits to firms using proactive safety management programs.


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