HSE issue advice on induction training
Workers are as likely to have an accident in the first six months at a workplace as during the whole of the rest of their working life.
The HSE have published six steps that should be taken to protect new starters.
1. Capability Assess the new starter’s capabilities. For example literacy and numeracy levels, general health, relevant work experience, physical capability to do the job, familiarity with the work being done and the working environment (especially where conditions change rapidly, such as on construction sites).
Don’t forget to assess cultural and language issues (grasp of English) too, where relevant – you may need to use visual, non-verbal methods such as pictures, signs or learning materials such as videos/DVDs/CD-ROMs.
2. Induction Provide an induction. Plan it carefully, including photos of hazards where possible, and use plain, simple language. Take time to walk around the workplace or site with new workers and show them where the main hazards exist (eg falls, slips and transport).
3. Control measures Make sure the control measures to protect against risk are up to date and are being properly used and maintained:
• Involve employees and health and safety representatives in discussions about the risk and how best to make sure new starters are protected.
• Emphasise the importance of reporting accidents and near misses.
• Make any necessary arrangements for health surveillance.
• If required, make sure suitable personal protective equipment is provided and maintained without cost to the workers.
4. Information Provide relevant information, instruction and training about the risks that new workers may be exposed to and the precautions they will need to take to avoid those risks.
5. Supervision Provide adequate supervision. Make sure workers know how to raise concerns and supervisors are familiar with the possible problems due to unfamiliarity and inexperience.
6. Check understanding Check workers have understood the information, instruction and training they need to work safely, and are acting on it, especially during the vital first days/weeks at work.
Remember to make sure workers know how and with whom they can raise any concerns about their health and safety and that they know about any emergency arrangements or procedures.