Successful Health and Safety induction programs are designed to cover all the bases. All the Safety and Health basics new workers and visitors need to know are included, and the management system ensures that every-one goes through induction – from the CEO to the new worker.
Every organisation’s Safety induction programs will be different, but all successful programs are formal, required, and include and cover the following these 10 “must-haves”:
1. Basic Safety policies and rules/procedures
2. Emergency procedures and equipment (evacuation routes, fire alarms, etc)
3. Job/work area hazards
4. Required PPE
5. Hazard reporting
6. Where to go with questions, problems
7. Safety responsibilities
8. Required Safety training
9. Standard Health & Safety information (safety signs, MSDSs, etc)
10. Housekeeping duties and rules
The order and the extent to which you present this information will probably depend on who you must provide the induction training to. In the case of new employees one should consider their job description as well as the new employee’s prior experience elsewhere.
The first five or six should certainly be discussed during the worker’s first couple of days on the job. Misunderstandings over these issues could get a worker injured or killed during his or her first week.
Another issue that should be taken into account is that there will probably be a lot of information for anybody to take in all at once. You must attempt to avoid information overload. People will tend to just shut down and fail to learn more. So repeat, repeat, repeat until you’re sure they’ve got it.
Successful induction of new employees also requires you to:
- Provide Health and Safety induction training to all new employees, even the ones with a lot of prior experience. It is important to realize that they don’t know your organisation’s policies and procedures yet.
- Make it clear from the first day that Safety is the number one job priority, that Safety performance will be evaluated along with other aspects of job performance.
- Use demonstration and practice to make sure that inductees understand the correct procedures completely and can perform the actions required.
- Provide new workers with a written safety checklist or book that covers Safety rules, procedures, and precautions.
- Encourage them to post the checklist at their workstation or carry it with them and refer to it as they work.
- Follow up on initial Safety induction by monitoring performance closely and asking and answering a lot of questions during those first few weeks and months to make sure you’ve gotten the correct Safety message across.
Safety orientation is just the beginning. It has to be quickly followed up with comprehensive training specific to the Health and Safety hazards and risks of your site.