Safety management systems: Audit tools and reliability of auditing: Dissertation

Arto Kuusisto

Research output: ThesisDissertationMonograph


Safety auditing is a systematic method to evaluate a company's safety management system. This work concentrates on evaluating the reliability of some safety audit tools. Firstly, the factors affecting reliability in auditing are clarified. Secondly, the inter-observer reliability of one of the audit tools is tested. This was done using an audit method, known as the D&S method, in six industrial companies in the USA, and in three companies in Finland. Finally, a new improved audit method called MISHA was developed, and its reliability was tested in two industrial companies. The results of the work show that safety audit tools do not ensure reliable and valid audit results. The auditor's expertise in the field of health and safety is particularly important when the company's compliance with the legal requirements is evaluated. A reasonably high reliability in the use of the D&S can be achieved when the auditor is familiar with the audit tool, the national legislation, and the company's culture. The MISHA method gives more reliable results than D&S when the auditor is not trained. On the other hand, it seems that the D&S is more reliable when the auditor is a trained expert. Some differences were found between the companies in the USA and in Finland. The organization and administration of safety activities was at a somewhat higher level among the companies in the USA. Industrial hazard control, as well as the control of fire hazards and industrial hygiene were at a high level in all companies in both countries. Most dispersion occurred in supervision, participation, motivation, and training activities. Finally, accident investigation and analysis were significantly better arranged among the companies in the USA. The results are in line with the findings of the literature survey on national differences in safety management procedures.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • Tampere University of Technology (TUT)
  • Karwowski, Waldemar, Supervisor, External person
Award date10 Jan 2001
Place of PublicationEspoo
Print ISBNs951-38-5594-5
Electronic ISBNs951-38-5595-3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


  • hazard control
  • safety audit
  • safety management


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