Employment - Get inducted

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Employment - Get inducted

The Importance of WHS Induction Programs

An induction programme for new employees informs them of the company’s goals and familiarises them with the organisation’s culture.

Including a safety induction programme is essential, whether this is incorporated into your main induction process or run separately. An effective Workplace Health & Safety induction programme needs to provide the most up-to-date information available and can be quite a complex task for employers to incorporate.

However, it demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to their employees, provides for their protection and ensures the organisation complies with government legislation.

Designing an appropriate safety induction package can be tricky. It needs to provide new employees with clear safety awareness, without overwhelming them. However, successfully balancing these obligations with the employee’s need to learn the essential processes of their new position can reap significant savings for the organisation. Especially when considering the potential ramifications of leaving such things to chance.

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Here are some key considerations for planning and structuring an effective employee safety induction programme:
• First establish the desired outcome for the employee induction programme, remembering the purpose of the programme is to allow for the effective integration of your new employee into the organisation.

• Make the programme as uniform as possible but allow for content changes, depending on what type of areas the new employees will be working in. The length and nature of the safety induction segment of your programme will partly depend on the job and responsibilities the new employee is taking on.

• Use proven adult learning techniques. Research shows that different people relate to different techniques. Some respond best to visual presentations while others prefer on-the-job training. Ensure your induction program can be tailored to each employee’s learning styles.

• Use an established induction programme and then modify it to suit your specific workplace. This is an ideal way to save time and money.

• Consider using an online induction programme for part, or all, of your employee induction programme. This will save time and effort, but could be expensive. Using an online induction program alongside supervisor training would be a great combination for some companies.

An OHS induction programme may need to cover the following items. Some of these items might not apply to your own organisation (depending on your type of industry) while some safety topics that should be in your induction programme might not be listed below.

By having management and employee input into what safety topics are integral, you can ensure that you cover everything.

• Workplace Expectations
• Occupational Health & Safety Law
• Employer & Worker Responsibilities (including a procedure for reporting incidents)
• Risk Management (how to prevent injuries and accidents in the workplace)
• Housekeeping (waste removal, clean up of spills)
• Slips, Trips and Falls
• Hazardous Substances (including the use of drugs and alcohol at the workplace)
• Electrical Safety
• Plant and Equipment Safety
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE correct use and maintenance)
• How to Lift and Carry
• Emergency Procedures, First Aid and Office Safety
• OHS Policies (such as Workplace Bullying and being Sun Smart)

Having a WH&S Induction Programme incorporated with your standard induction programme not only ensures your compliance but also builds a safe culture in your workplace.