Implementing and following workplace health and safety procedures is an important part of business. When it comes to new employees, health and safety is especially important. New workers are the cause of the majority of workplace accidents because they’re not properly trained or don’t understand the policies in place. When it comes to new workers and workplace health and safety, shortcuts shouldn’t be taken. Both the employer and employee should be responsible for preventing accidents on the job.
Here are five workplace safety tips for new workers so you can keep them safe on the job.
1. Keep It Simple
Overly complicated policies or wording can make it difficult for new staff to truly understand your workplace safety procedures. Your written communication should be simple and informal for better results—this includes training manuals, memos, and log books and records. Miscommunications can result in accidents. It’s best to make sure every worker understands your meaning so you can keep your company and workers safe and healthy.
2. Train Early
You want your workplace health and safety procedures to be followed immediately by new employees. Regardless of how busy you are, you shouldn’t be waiting several days or even weeks to start training your new staff on worksite safety procedures. This should be a priority on day one. Training should take place before the new worker even steps foot on your worksite, or uses any equipment or machinery.
3. Everyday Operations
Even though you’ve trained your employees on their first day, your responsibility doesn’t stop there. You must make health and safety a part of your daily operations. Don’t let them slack off and take shortcuts, putting themselves and others at risk while doing so. You need to drill it into their minds that safety is a priority every single day so injuries and illnesses don’t occur because someone got lazy with workplace safety. You can even create safety incentive programs to motivate your staff to work safely at all times.
In order to keep safety at the forefront of your employees’ minds, start every work day with a safety huddle to discuss safe operating procedures and potential hazards. This will only take a few minutes of your time and will lead to a safer workplace. It’s also a great way to create an open and comfortable environment where new employees have the opportunity to speak up if they’re unsure about certain procedures. For example, if they are using new equipment on a certain day, they can bring up their concerns and get a quick refresher before they start to use it and potentially cause an accident.
4. Safety Groups
One of the most efficient ways to ensure that new employees are taking your safety policies seriously is to create safety groups and make your employees to take part. These safety groups can be responsible for identifying and removing potential health and safety hazards every morning as a way to always have them thinking about and being involved in workplace safety.
5. Observe and Give Feedback
Your staff’s safety is your responsibility as much as it is theirs. All the training in the world won’t be enough if you’re not correcting unsafe behaviours. This is especially true for new and/or vulnerable employees. By observing them while they work for a few minutes each day, you can see if they’ve understood your policies and are following them appropriately. If not, this is your opportunity to give them feedback and correct their behaviours before a workplace incident occurs.