Online Induction >> What is a Safety Induction?

About Safety Inductions: Why do a Safety Induction

So, your designing the new induction for your company and you've maybe decided on whether online or in person is the way to go, you've got the topics sorted and now you want to know what exactly a Safety induction is and what information you need to put into it. A Safety induction is perhaps the most important part of any induction process and should inform the practice that underpins everything that your employees do as they go about their work. A safety induction informs your employees of your company's safety practices, giving them the guidance, they need to work safely and effectively within the company. In a nutshell a safety induction is the first step for many employees to help them assist in the creation of a safer more harmonious workplace.

So, what should be covered in a safety induction?

Safety inductions need to encompass a large range of topics as safety is an incredibly broad topic all on its own not to mention the total information once you have combined it with the other induction areas you have to go through. The trick is to find out what is most relevant to your workplace and employees then focus on those areas.

Some examples of important areas to cover include: - Site specific training: It is important to consider site specific hazards and risks as each workplace has hazards that are unique to them. These include hazards such as temperature (not just weather related) is it significantly hot or cold at the worksite? does your worksite have any areas that have extreme high or low temperatures (e.g. freezers)? - Is there any wildlife that is likely to cause any issues around the site? - Making sure that all employees are given training on the specific equipment that they need to use and how to treat the equipment that they don't with respect, is there anything about the location of the workplace that isn't covered elsewhere that could affect safety etcetera?

General safety: Is the shared responsibility of everyone to be continually vigilant by spotting risks and hazards and alerting those who need to know. It can include removing trip hazards, electrical hazards and checking for signs of wear and tear on anything in their working area that may potentially pose a danger to themselves or other people in it.

Other topics that should be covered include: - Who do your employees need to report to? - Where are the first aid kits/fire safety equipment? - What is their role in an emergency? - Who is the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) representative?

If your company is using an app for hazard reporting it is important that you include training on the app (even if not, it is important to cover your hazard reporting procedure whatever it may be) during the induction. They are a great way for employees to notify the relevant OHS person that they have noticed a hazard or incident. In doing this there can be a quicker response time and thus the workplace will become safer for everyone.

Why do they need to happen?

Maintaining safety around workplaces is incredibly important for several reasons such as preventing injuries, saving lives and yes even reducing the costs to the company. Costs to the company from a lack of safe work practices include high staff turnover, loss of productivity, costs to improve safety (updating equipment, repairing equipment, adding new safety measures etcetera) to name a few. On the flipside there are benefits to having a safer workplace such as greater morale and productivity.

Safety inductions help employees to understand their role within the company and to be aware of their work responsibilities. A safety induction offers benefits to the whole company since each person can understand their role from both a working and safety perspective and how they need to contribute to safety across the worksite.

Having said this though 'safety' whether it is personal, site or company related is unfortunately at times an overlooked area as it is considered not as interesting as other sections of the induction process and dismissed as pretty much common sense, so it is considered a case of something that people do not need to know as everyone already knows it.

When do they need to happen?

As with other inductions, Safety inductions should happen at the beginning of your employee's time with you (an additional note: any potential employees should be aware that your company values safety before they agree to sign on with you). Inductions should also happen if a member of your company's workforce is changing roles within the company. Regularly refreshing the safety induction for your employees can ensure that they are kept up to date with any changes that you make as well as keeping it fresh in their minds. The actual regularity will depend on a variety of factors, including how often the information within the induction changes and needs to be communicated to your employees.

So what other topics should be in there?

It is important to cover the Occupational Health and Safety act regulations that are relevant to each area and the company. Employees should also be able to answer the question "Who is responsible within the company for ensuring that the OHS regulations are carried out?"
Areas such as bullying, and harassment are often forgotten about in terms of safety which should never be the case as the damage done in these situations can last long after the incident itself has happened. As such it is important to cover these areas carefully.

Safety inductions are important and should convey how the company treats not only physical risks and hazards but also mental health related issues. Safety inductions are vital to creating a safe workplace and great care needs to be taken in preparing and presenting them so that employees take note and are confident in what they need to do safety wise as part of their role.

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