Home > Safety, Security, Training > New-Hire Orientation: The Foundation for Your Safety Culture

New-Hire Orientation: The Foundation for Your Safety Culture

Yesterday we shared some tips from training experts on effective onboarding (new hire orientation) techniques. Today we’ll give you some suggested points to cover in your new-hire safety training sessions.

Statistics reveal that workers are the most susceptible to injuries during their first month on the job. That’s why you need to provide basic safety training to new hires as soon as they come under your supervision. Before assigning tasks to your new employees, take the time to welcome them into your organization. Walk them around the facility and introduce them to their co-workers. Encourage veteran employees to help newer workers feel at ease. Your efforts will make both new and veteran workers feel they are contributing to the success of your company.

Your new hires need to be made aware of how serious safety training is right from the start. In your first meetings with your new employees, reinforce the need for caution and appropriate protective equipment for each task. Emphasize that all unsafe conditions, accidents, and “near misses” must be reported immediately. Show them what equipment they can and cannot operate without your authorization.

Covering the Basics

Make sure to cover these basics:

  • The proper safety practices to use and hazards to be aware of within your department
  • What to do if there is an accident or injury
  • How to report emergencies
  • How to report accidents and near-misses
  • How to report a workers’ comp injury and file a claim
  • The location of material safety data sheets (MSDS)
  • How to care for and use personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • How to use tools, machinery, or hazardous processes
  • What housekeeping and personal cleanup rules must be followed
  • The location of emergency equipment, first-aid supplies, and designated smoking areas

Other practices to teach new employees include:

  • Inspect tools and protective equipment before use.
  • Report any defective, malfunctioning, or “just not right” tool, machine, or protective equipment item immediately.
  • Wearing personal protective equipment.
  • Follow instructions on using tools and machines safely.
  • Walk, don’t run.
  • Don’t fool around or ignore safety rules.
  • Keep the work area neat and the aisles clear.
  • Ask questions about anything you don’t understand.
  • Always be alert to possible risks or anything that just “doesn’t seem right.”

Don’t Skimp!

The value of a strong new-hire training program cannot be stressed enough. Research conducted jointly by Silk Road Technologies and the Aberdeen Group showed that employers rated as best-in-class typically had onboarding processes that lasted 6 months. That doesn’t mean 6 months of constant new-hire training, but rather ongoing strategies that keep management in touch with new people.

With other data showing that most employees decide within the first 6 months whether they will stay with an employer, that only strengthens the argument for reaching out early and often.

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Categories: Safety, Security, Training
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