Contractor and/or Employers' Health and Safety Induction Training
Contractor and/or employers’ health and safety induction training does not only establish a firm foundation for strong safety performance, but it is also legally required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993 (OHSA).
According to OHSA, employers must provide their employees with the necessary information, instruction, training, and supervision to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees is ensured.
In addition, health and safety training is imperative before employees start their work, and when new employees are introduced into the work environment.
Why must new employees receive health and safety induction training?
New employees are more prone to accidents, incidents, and ill health arising from work-related activities. This may be due to:
- Their lack of familiarity with the workplace.
- Reduced risk-perception, or
- Issues with training.
Must health and safety induction training be in-depth?
New employees will need to undergo induction training on how they can perform their work safely and without risk to health and safety. However, there must be a proportionate approach taken when determining the level of information, instruction, and training required.
Low-risk businesses, for instance, will not need to provide as much technical training as more high-risk businesses such as mining or construction.
What must the health and safety induction cover?
The purpose of a health and safety induction is to set the standards, raise awareness of the hazards, explain how health and safety is managed, and the role played by employees. If there are certain risks involved in the work that an employee will perform, the health and safety induction is an opportunity to instil safe working practices.
The content of the induction will be determined by the nature of business along with the risks which are present. However, some common elements may include:
- Talking about health and safety policies.
- Explaining the responsibility of the employee.
- Asking employees attending the induction to complete an occupational health and wellbeing questionnaire.
- Providing employees attending the induction with a tour of the workplace or site.
- Highlighting specific risks to employees.
- Providing training which relates specifically to the employee’s work and functions.
- Explaining the accident reporting and recording procedures.
- A walkthrough of the emergency arrangements.
10 Tips to follow when providing employees with a health and safety induction
- Take the inductees’ capabilities, training, knowledge, and previous experience into account so that the induction content can be adapted or formatted to meet their specific needs.
- Set aside enough time for the induction to avoid that things are rushed or skipped.
- Do not assume that some parts can be skipped just because they are ‘common sense’ and do not assume that inductees have understood, always check before moving on, or provide an induction that inductees can work through on their own at their own pace of reading and/or learning.
- Encourage inductees to ask questions and inform them of who they can contact should they have other questions or any concerns after the induction has been completed.
- When designing the induction training, seek opportunities to demonstrate the material instead of merely stating facts.
- Consider including a short quiz in the induction after presenting the material. This confirms that inductees have retained the information and that it is understood.
- Provide inductees with something that they can take with them that can be used as future reference.
- Ask inductees to sign on a register that they have received as well as understood the health and safety training. This will help to demonstrate the steps that were taken to keep employees safe if an incident occurs.
- Use an evaluation form to obtain feedback from inductees. This allows for continuous improvement and can allow for expansions on the content and how it is delivered.
- Do not regard training as something which must only be done once during the induction period. Revisit training when employees are faced with new or increased risks, or there are existing skills that require updating.
How can SafetyWallet help Employers and Contractors’ Health and Safety Compliance?
SafetyWallet works to ensure that its subscribers are supported and assisted in all matters relating to health and safety, and through a partnership with MAKROSAFE and OHS Online, subscribers can ensure that they are a part in creating a safer, healthier, and more compliant working environment. To find out how you can ensure employer and contractor’s Health and Safety compliance, click here.
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