Unfamiliarity increases health and safety risk. Broadly speaking there are two ways in which an employee can be unfamiliar. The first is an unfamiliarity with an environment or space, the second is an unfamiliarity with a role or task.
Providing induction training in both cases is mandatory to reduce the risk as much as possible. In both cases there are certain key pieces of information which need to be shared. When deciding on which information needs to be shared, you should think about the following:
- The environment. The hazards and risks specific to your space. You as the employer know best the quirks and challenges that your venue faces, so you’re best placed to share those with people who are less familiar. Even experienced workers who are new to your venue might not recognise the hazards specific to it.
- The person. Depending on the experience and knowledge of the person being inducted, you should increase or decrease the amount of detail in your induction process. An inexperienced or less trained individual will need a more thorough induction than a more highly trained and experience individual.
- The complexity or risks associated with the task. More hazardous tasks will require a more thorough induction in order to reduce risk. More complex tasks will require a more in-depth introduction to make sure they’re done correctly.
Use common-sense. When building your induction programme, you’re trying to reduce the health and safety risks associated with the job, so ask yourself “what risks are present and what will I need to tell the individual so that the risk is reduced”
As well as the information specific to your venue, the person and the role, here are some common items which most employers should include.
- Where are the fire exits and assembly point?
- When are the fire drills?
- Who are fire wardens?
- Who is the first aider(s)?
- Where is the first aid kit?
- Is there any other health and safety equipment such as defibrillators?
- Who is the person to contact in case of an emergency?
- Where are the washrooms, toilets and smoking areas?
Lastly, something to consider from a business point of view. Comprehensive induction training is a really efficient way to train staff on health and safety and will save on time in the long run. Providing a solid foundation of knowledge at the start means your employees will be less likely to make mistakes, have accidents, need additional guidance or act in a rogue manner – which means you will have less to deal with later down the line.
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Providing health and safety training in the workplace is one of the must-do actions placed on employers by health and safety law. Read this article to find out when training should be delivered.