One of the things which I read in the paper the other day was that the nursery was 'audited' by the business which it was part of through the completion of a questionnaire sent to the Nursery Manager by the H&S Manager for the business. I find it absolutely amazing that anyone could think that completion of a questionnaire could possibly be adequate as an audit, particularly of such a complex and high risk environment.
Audit is about getting out and seeing, about looking around, asking questions, following trails. It's not about ticking boxes and filing documents to say 'done that'. By physically visiting the Nursery and undertaking a robust and focussed audit the H&S team might have been able to spot the hazards which were, according to the press, clearly there for some time. Audits are designed to help, to reduce risk, to improve process - done properly they can be a huge benefit to a business - done in this way it shows a questionable approach to management, and I bet it's far wider spread that has come out in the court so far.