AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

The importance of new employee safety orientation

Starting a new job is often accompanied by a flurry of training. Your first days on the job are often spent learning more about what you will be doing than actually doing it, from learning the nitty-gritty of everyday life at the company – such as how to access your email or where to get supplies – to sessions about the company culture.

Training classes about safety are frequently sandwiched between seminars about your company’s history and how to use your vacation hours. In some fields, like construction, safety training is a top priority, but in others, it doesn’t always get the attention it needs.

Despite the fact that employees who have been on the job for three months or less are three times more likely to be injured on the job, safety training is frequently lacking. In many situations, this is the sole mention of workplace safety, at least until an accident occurs or the organization prepares for an audit.

Such a safety approach, according to occupational safety and health experts, is insufficient and could cost employers millions of dollars in worker’s compensation claims and lost productivity. Rather, they advise employers to create comprehensive new employee safety training programs based on best practices in workplace safety to avoid injuries and keep costs down.

 

Why might a new employee’s onboarding be an appropriate moment to talk about health and safety?

 

For the following reasons, new employees may be prone to injury:

  • Employers may believe that new workers are already familiar with how to do their tasks safely.

  • Employers may not prioritize a safety culture.

  • New hires may not be aware of the necessary personal protective equipment, and PPE standards may not be routinely enforced.

  • New employees may be unsure of which questions to ask about safety, or they may be hesitant to ask.

  • When it comes to an emergency or even a simple question, new employees may not know who to contact.

  • Training may be largely focused on completing activities while neglecting the hazards associated with those actions.

Injuries are especially common among seasonal workers; they are frequently asked to accomplish jobs that are better handled by more experienced workers, but because they are new, they may be less reluctant to ask for help.

When new employees start a job, they may encounter any combination of these impediments to safety training. As a result, businesses must collaborate with a competent and experienced safety specialist to establish a comprehensive training program that includes safety conversations during onboarding and on a regular basis.

 

Making plans for a new employee safety training program

 

New employee safety training programs should ideally cover issues such as:

  • Creating and sustaining a safety culture and a commitment to injury prevention

  • OSHA job and organization standards include each employee’s ability to refuse to conduct any work they believe is unsafe until safety protocols are adopted.

  • There are procedures for dealing with safety hazards and crises, as well as reporting them.

  • It reminds employees that they have the right to report safety dangers, injuries, and events without fear of retaliation.

  • Risks associated with regular day-to-day activities

  • During the COVID-19 epidemic, workplace safety training is mandatory.

Safety training should ideally take place prior to an employee’s first day on the job, at their new employee orientation. Due to the volume of information offered during orientation classes, it’s a good idea to schedule refresher training and updates throughout the year.

Reiterating safety standards on a regular basis also aids in the development of a safety culture inside the firm. Your staff will be more likely to take their training seriously and stay safe if you prioritize preventing accidents, reminding employees of proper practices, and – most importantly – enforcing your laws and regulations.

 

Conclusion

 

Many organizations are emphasizing the need to protect new employees from workplace injuries. Recognize the dangers to your team and create a program to provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to stay safe on the job.