In a perfect world, no one would ever become injured, sick or even risk their life for their job. But there are dangerous jobs out there, and somebody has to do them. For those positions, it is crucial to train all employees—particularly new employees—on the measures they must take to maintain their safety. Safety should be the No. 1 priority in these cases and employee training should reflect that.
So what can your company do to be sure all new employees are properly trained on safety policies and procedures? Here are four best practices to help you get started.
Make Company Safety Policies and Procedures Clear
Provide new hires with your company’s safety policies and procedures and go over them to address any questions. Explain any policies that are specific to your company that may not apply to every company or industry to be sure your new employee knows how to handle situations. Make yourself available, especially in the beginning of their employment, to help them with any issues.
This includes thoroughly explaining the health, wellness and safety procedures your company follows. Tell your company’s health and safety specialist a new person has joined the company and bring them in to discuss additional safety measures. Coordinate a meeting between the new hire and the specialist for one-on-one time.
Address Previous Training and Training Specific to Your Company
Start by asking your new hire what previous safety training they have had and let them explain their background with safety protocol. Once you gauge their understanding of safety measures and their knowledge of procedures, you will know what amount of safety, environmental or compliance training to provide.
Determine whether your new employee will need any personal protective equipment while on the job and if so, review this information with the employee so he or she understands when the equipment must be worn and when it is allowed to be removed. Issue the appropriate equipment for the work being performed.
Identify Emergency Procedures and Potential Hazards
Take your new employee on a tour of the facility where they will be spending their work days. Show them any associated work area hazards and the safe work practices they need to know. Identify work spaces where toxic materials are used, stored or disposed of.
Show and explain how to use emergency safety equipment such as eyewashes, showers, first aid kits, fire blankets, fire extinguishers, fire exits and fire alarm pull boxes. Demonstrate the evacuation procedures so your new employee knows what to do and where to go and is prepared should an evacuation be necessary. Review your company’s Emergency Evacuation Plan and inform the new employee of any evacuation signals and procedures and point out exit routes and your team’s designated assembly location.
Review Illness and Injury Reporting Protocol
Upon hiring, your new employees should fill out an emergency contact form, which should include their names, addresses and phone numbers of people they want contacted if anything should happen to them, their medical and dental information and their health insurance information. Keep a copy for your records and also give a copy to your Emergency Coordinator and Human Resources.
Review the procedures your company follows for reporting an injury and accident and explain how the employee will participate in this process. Explain worker rights and responsibilities that are granted by law.
The Bottom Line
Of course, there are many other things to take into consideration when training a new employee on safety. Be sure to show your new hires where they can store their lunch, snacks or beverages and explain they are only permitted in designated locations so they don’t come in contact with dangerous chemicals or equipment.
Safety training may differ depending on your company’s industry, facility layout and company size. It is important for you to customize your safety training to appropriately reflect your company and the work you do.