Safety and health training should begin as soon as employees are hired, the National Safety Council states, because workers generally will be open to ideas and information about how their new organization operates.
Another reason to begin safety and health training right away is that new employees are more likely to experience a work-related incident because of lack of experience, a lack of familiarity with the company’s procedures and an eagerness to work, according to NSC.
The council recommends a number of training topics in the orientation process for new workers, which include:
- Safety, health, and environmental policies;
- Housekeeping standards;
- Hazard communication;
- Emergency response procedures;
- Care and use of personal protective equipment;
- Incident reporting and investigating procedures;
- First aid and CPR;
- Ergonomics principles; and
- Fire prevention plans.
Workplaces should develop a formal safety orientation program to “forge a strong link between all employees and the organization’s safety and health policy,” NSC states.
Safety and health training for new employees can be complicated and time-consuming, particularly for busy supervisors. But it’s important to make new employee training a priority. NSC encourages supervisors to stay up to date on training and safety policies to avoid contradicting advice in the organization’s training manual and safety policies.
In addition, they should be involved in the development of training programs to help ensure the information is timely. “If [supervisors] disregard or contradict the training manual, the entire program and the company’s image lose credibility with the workers,” NSC cautions.