Think about the time when you started your first day at a new job; you probably arrived a little earlier than usual, were eager to jump in where needed but mostly, you were probably learning the ropes of your new position as well as getting a better understanding of the structure of your new workplace.
The first few days for a new employee at an any organisation are vital, as it allows time for the new employee to become familiar with an organisations procedures and operations. It is important that all aspects of an organisation, relevant to the new employee, be covered during the first few initial days which should include; safety and health training.
It is imperative to train a new employee in health and safety as soon as they start working at a new organisation so as to avoid any work-related incidents which may be a result of a lack of experience or familiarity with the health and safety regulations.
Organisations and workplaces should, therefore, invest in developing a formal safety program that is part of the employee orientation process. Doing so, will ensure that a new employee is equipped with the necessary knowledge on safety, health and environmental policies; housekeeping standards, hazard communication, emergency response procedures, care and use of protective equipment, etc.
Supervisors should always stay up-to-date on training and safety policies which are inline with the organizations current training manual and safety regulations. If a supervisor is to advise a new employee in a way that contradicts the organisations training manual and safety policies, a new employee may question the credibility of the safety training they have received. It is, therefore, important that emphasis not only be placed on new employee safety training but that priority also be given to keeping supervisors informed and up-to-date on all current health and safety training policies and manuals.
We now know that training a new employee in health and safety policies within an organization is of utmost importance but we cannot expect to simply hand a new employee a manual to read and call it a day on training. Supervisors and trainers should take the time to show a new employee exactly how safety works within their organisation.
A hands-on approach to training will effectively equip a new employee with the tools and know-how on how to respond and react when they are in a hazardous situation. This could not only save valuable equipment and/or products but also lives.
Edited and adapted by Tamrin Feldman