New Employee Orientation
Thirty percent (30%) of workplace injuries occur to people within the first 3 months of employment at a new job. New workers are also likely to develop patterns of safety behavior during these first few months that often last throughout their employment. That is why it is important to make good use of this valuable orientation period. A strong safety orientation will help prevent new workers from developing bad safety habits and will provide a safer workplace for all employees.
Here are some helpful tips to achieve the best results from your safety orientation program:
- Set clear expectations so that employees know right from the first day that safety is a number one priority. That safety performance will be evaluated along with other aspects of job performance, and those evaluations will affect raises, promotions, and so on.
- Give a Pre-Test to find out what new employees know and don't know about safety hazards in your workplace. Then give a post-test after orientations so the employee can "show what they know" and you can find out what you need to go over again.
- Provide demonstrations to teach new employees the right and safe way to do the job and to explain all hazards associated with job tasks.
- Provide a safety checklist that covers safety rules, procedures and precautions. After you have gone through the information, have the employee sign the checklist and place it in their personnel file. Encourage employees to post a copy of the checklist at their workstation to refer to as they work.
- Pair new workers with experienced workers, who have good safety records, until you are convinced that it is safe for the worker to go solo. The experienced worker can help the new employee understand the importance of following the safety rules taught during orientation. They can also catch mistakes and correct unsafe behaviors.
- Follow up on the orientation by monitoring performances closely and asking a lot of questions during the first few weeks. You want to make sure that you have gotten your safety message across.