Just as you shouldn’t base your long term health condition on a single doctor visit, you shouldn’t base your long term compliance condition on a single assessment. Environmental Health and Safety evaluations of your operations should be performed regularly and often to maintain commitment within your business culture and to establish a routine that will facilitate quick identification of issues and allow them to be handled more easily.
One time assessments or those taken at the same period each year only provide a snap shot of compliance in a single moment and will miss changes and non-routine activities that may occur over time. It would be like measuring the ocean tide just one day in January and expecting the tide to remain the same for the rest of the year.
While having an outside resource perform a baseline audit and provide guidance is important when that expertise is absent within a company, abbreviated but regular internal assessments over the long term will provide a broader view of compliance, encompass more tasks and can identify patterns and catch issues before they go un-noticed and become larger problems.