Insight

Getting It Right From The Start

The word ‘guidance’ might be used in many contexts, but its meaning when it comes to safety is HUGE.

When starting at a company new employees often adopt a common sense approach to safety, but it is essential for every employee to know how (through training) to manage health and safety in their working environment.

Some companies choose to ignore a formal health and safety induction process. However induction, whether formal or informal, will go on regardless. New employees will orient themselves within the organisation by checking with their colleagues and following others’ behaviour. This can put the employee at risk when health and safety procedures are not explained properly, and it certainly exposes businesses to a greater risk of liability when leaving health and safety to chance.

A health and safety induction is designed to provide employees with up-to-date information to keep them safe at work. However it can be a difficult process to create a robust safety induction that complies with health and safety legislation and collates all the information the employee needs to know.

An induction must relay specific health and safety practices aligned to the work environment. This ensures that employees retain the deeper learning required to stay safe and are not overwhelmed with redundant information. Many health and safety training providers offer a comprehensive package and yet they supply generic material that has items such as ‘cables’ and ‘robots’ listed as hazards and everything in between, which is not helpful to learners.

Formal health and safety induction demonstrates to a new employee that the organisation is committed to safety and to the health and well being of the staff. The time taken to provide a health and safety induction can make the difference between an unsafe and confused employee and an employee that is on the road to becoming a productive and safe member of the team.

Here’s one recommended framework for health and safety induction:

  • Company safety policy
  • Employer and worker responsibilities
  • Hazard management
  • Accidents and incidents
  • Emergencies
  • Reporting
  • PPE and safety equipment
  • Manual handling
  • Office ergonomics

A comprehensive induction incorporates a number of legislative obligations a company has to meet in terms of health and safety such as:

  • Providing a full health and safety briefing showing the evacuation plan, any hazards in the workplace and how to be safe from hazards
  • Providing contact details in the case of an emergency
  • Explaining any hazards or risks that are specific to the role and how those risks are managed.

Without an induction the company may fail to fulfil these obligations and be at risk of breaching the Health and Safety Act.

If you would like help developing some tailored, engaging and interactive health and safety learning solutions, please get in touch. We'd love to help.