What is a Health and Safety Induction?

As one of the legal requirements to which employers must conform, it is imperative to understand what a health and safety induction is, why it must be conducted, and how it is done effectively.  

This, and other measures all go towards ensuring the highest level of compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, along with ensuring that employees are healthy and safe and that they return to their families at the end of every working day.

It is not only about a culture of complying, but also a culture of care that instills trust in the organisation as they go beyond what is necessary to ensure that employees are healthy and safe, as employees are any company’s most valuable asset.

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What is a health and safety induction?

A health and safety induction is conducted to welcome new employees to the organisation and to prepare them for their new role and their duties. The induction also ensures that employees are informed about the organisation and they are aware of their work as well as responsibilities.

The induction is the starting point for an organisation to introduce a safety culture in the workplace and it forms the foundation to ensure safe practices.

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Why must a health and safety induction be conducted?

When employees have not had effective health and safety inductions, they tend to have a higher tendency towards negligence and non-adherence to health and safety rules and regulations. In addition, these employees are also prone to injuries and fatalities as a result of misinformation or inadequate knowledge that they need to deal with hazards in the workplace.

A proper health and safety induction can help in achieving the following:

  • Promote a healthy and safe working environment for all employees.
  • Help employees understand the values and behaviours associated with the workplace culture.
  • Ensure adequate knowledge of where emergency procedures are concerned such as where emergency exits are located, what evacuation instructions to expect, and where assembly points are located.
  • Adequate training on first aid as well as emergency protocols.
  • Proper handling of equipment, tools, and machinery.
  • Understanding critical government rules as well as regulations.
  • Help employees transition more smoothly to the organisations and adjust to their new roles and positions.
  • Help workers know what their work responsibilities and limitations are.
  • Ensure that employees are educated regarding company policies against any harassment, victimisation, and any other critical policies.
  • Ensure that employees' rights and benefits are in place.
  • Drive improvement in both productivity as well as the quality of work.

How must a health and safety induction be done effectively?

Health and safety induction training is provided to new employees and it can help employees in becoming more familiar with work activities, responsibilities, their colleagues, operating policies, procedures, and rules.

The topics which must be covered in the induction will vary according to the employee’s role and the organisation’s own safety requirements. However, some of the following are common safety induction topics that are covered:

  • Hazards and risks found in the workplace.
  • Special equipment, including PPE, which may require additional training.
  • Safe operating procedures.
  • Work health and safety legislation.
  • Emergency procedures, and
  • First aid and other emergency contacts.

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Effective tips for a health and safety induction

The following tips and methods can be used to ensure that a more effective health and safety induction is conducted:

  • Set enough time aside to conduct the induction. It can either be done one-on-one or in a group.
  • Ensure that an adequate location is chosen, away from any noise or distraction.
  • Do not rush the induction but set an even pace.
  • Ensure that eye contact is made and that everyone can hear the person presenting the induction.
  • Ensure that attention is grabbed early on and kept.
  • Keep literacy in mind and ensure that workers understand the content and what is required.
  • Be confident but avoid confrontation.
  • Keep it simple to ensure that the message given is understood.
  • Explain the work requirements of employees and safety directions.
  • Place emphasis on prevention and provide examples.
  • Keep a record of the content and the attendees.

How can SafetyWallet help Employers and Contractors with 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 of creating a safer, healthier, and more compliant working environment.

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Posted date: 29th Apr 2022
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