Don’t compromise on OSH induction

15 February, 2017

Staff induction activities are designed to provide new staff members with the information they need, as well as getting them up to speed on how the company operates.

From an OSH perspective, new employees or contractors are at a higher risk of injury than existing staff due to their lack of familiarity of the workplace and its policies and procedures.

It is therefore vital to ensure a company’s induction or on-boarding process includes the essential elements of health and safety.

Not only that, it’s the law. The OSH laws in WA require that your employees have the necessary information, instruction, training and supervision to carry out their work safely – with delivery of an OSH induction being a part of your organisation’s obligations.

Induction programs are essential for new employees, and they form part of the development of a positive OSH culture in your organisation.

It is an essential step in on-boarding your new starter.

So why is it that so many workplaces don’t provide an induction?

Our members are telling us that they don’t really know what information they should be giving to a new starter.

While there are lots of great checklists out there that list the health and safety items to offer, many Members feel they do not actually have the expertise or know the ins and outs to pass on to their new starters.

They’ve told us that because they don’t know exactly what to include in their inductions or because they don’t have a safety expert, time slips away and before too long the new starter isn’t a new starter anymore, and becomes integrated into the workforce without having received this essential induction.

CCI has stepped in to help Members bridge the gap between “going through the motions” of completing a checklist and actually ensuring they have genuinely fulfilled their requirement to induct their new starters within a timely manner and can have a safer workplace.

CCI recommends a two part induction process:

  1. General component: introducing new employees to their general safety obligations, providing them with the essential theoretical and practical knowledge. This includes information on duties in the OSH legislation, workplace OSH policies and procedures, risk management principles, hazard and incident reporting, PPE use and emergency response.
  2. Site walkthrough component: introducing the new worker to their supervisor and OSH personnel, demonstration of the safe way to perform their job tasks, location of first aid kit and first aid officers, location of emergency exits and muster point, PPE storage, location of amenities.

Inductions should include testing the knowledge of the new starter to make sure they have understood the information delivered. It’s good practice to check back in with the new starter after they’ve been on the job for a few weeks. Starting a new job is overwhelming so repeating key safety and health information will refresh their knowledge and drum in their responsibility for ensuring their own safety and the safety of others.