Creating a positive health and safety culture within any business is extremely important. Not only should you focus on raising awareness of potential hazards employees may come across, your staff need to behave in a safe manner from the outset. By taking the time to educate your team and arming them with safe working practices, mistakes can be avoided.
Inducting New Recruits
Under the Health & Safety At Work Act (1974), all employers are required to provide information, instruction and training where necessary to ensure the health and safety of their employees at work. A regulation brought out later in 1999 identified the importance of health & safety training when a new employee starts (health & safety induction).
New employees are more prone to accidents and work-related injuries, simply because they are not used to the site layout. As they will be trying to prove themselves within the early stages of employment, new employees often have a reduced risk perception too. It is therefore key that you take the time to provide health & safety induction and orientation for new starters.
What a Health & Safety Induction should cover
Firstly, the level of depth required for the Health & Safety induction needs to be established. It is important not to overwhelm the new member of staff by going into too much detail, but the basics should be covered. For those businesses which require in-depth health & safety induction, for example when an employee is entering a high-risk environment, you may want to consider an online induction. This removes any of the initial physical dangers, and allows the employee to gain an understanding of the processes before even arriving on site.
Your Health & Safety policy
The purpose of a Health & Safety induction is to set out the standards, raise awareness of hazards, and explain how the employee is responsible for instilling safe working practices. Your Health & Safety policy is the foundation of your health & safety management, so every member of staff should be familiar with its contents. It should detail how you keep employees safe on-site, and how you work to keep risks to a minimum.
It is always a good idea to provide a Health & Safety handbook to your employees during induction so they have a reference point to look back at. Inductees should also complete an occupational health & welfare questionnaire relating to their role specifically. This will highlight any health problems which may limit them within their role.
Have you considered taking your induction online?
Traditional site tours are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Not only do they take up valuable time which could be spent on other tasks, it can be quite a tedious, repetitive job for the Health & Safety officer responsible. Particularly within larger organisations, it is difficult to ensure the Health & Safety officer is delivering concise, identical training to every new employee or visitor to the site. However, by delivering this site induction virtually, this eliminates any inconsistencies and saves hours of repetitive training being manually delivered.
Key tips for health & safety induction
Here are a few top tips for developing a good online induction:
- Online induction allows the employee or contractor to complete the induction at their own pace and absorb the essential information better.
- A digital induction can be segmented to offer each person an induction relevant to their role.
- Modular, online video presentations, interspersed with question and answer sessions will impact the key messages.
- Digital online inductions will automatically record the fact the health & safety induction training has been delivered.
Don’t treat training as a one-off exercise during induction, it should be revisited on a regular basis – particularly when employees are exposed to new risks. Building an induction that will deliver regular tool-box talks will reinforce the initial induction and maintain a great level of communication for health and safety.
How we can help
Here at Res Digital, we have been designing and developing health & safety induction software for over 15 years. We create bespoke systems suited to the individual requirements of your business. If you would like to find out more about this service, please contact us today.