As an employer, you have many responsibilities to your staff. For new staff, this means ensuring they have everything they need to become an integral part of the team. In terms of health and safety, they need to be brought up to speed quickly with hazards, the risks posed and actions taken to minimise these risks. How well structured is your health and safety induction process for new staff?
Health and safety policy and procedures
There is no such thing as a health and safety ‘template’ because what is high risk in one workplace may not be an issue at another.
It is essential that new staff are made aware of your own detailed health and safety policies and procedures. From fire evacuation processes to lone working policies, they must have the detail of risk assessment and actions to be taken, including their importance in being part of this process.
Actions in health and safety are an essential part of the words written on a page. This is not about reading the policy and then carrying on regardless.
To name just three, for example, new staff will need to be shown and familiar with;
- Fire Evacuation
- Machinery and equipment operating instruction
Incident reporting is an essential aspect for every new employee to be familiar with. People can often be nervous about reporting ‘misdemeanours’, assuming that it will lead to some kind of disciplinary action for them or for others. As well as reassuring this is not the case, new employees need to be shown the system for reporting incidents (including what are ‘reportable incidents’) whether this is a paper or online system.
Personal protection equipment (PPE) is part of health and safety. They are the tools that staff use to help minimise the risks in the workplace. It is essential that new staff understand their importance and the importance of wearing them at all times while at work.
From high-vis clothing to safety capped footwear, ensuring new staff have all the appropriate gear before they start work is essential.
It has been a part of health and safety all along but it is only in recent years that we have started to take seriously the impact of the workplace on mental and emotional well-being.
Focusing on the physical safety of staff is important but so too is making them aware of the avenues and actions taken to safeguard their emotional health. This could be systems you have in place that allow them to tap into when they feel they need it. Some companies, for example, buy into online counselling services that enable staff to talk and share feelings regarding issues at work.
There are also important policies and actions such as bullying in the workplace and how complaints or issues are dealt with.
It is vital to include all staff in the regular review of health and safety. There is no doubt that an honest review by new staff regarding their health and safety induction provides valuable information.
How can we help you?
If you are in need of assistance with any aspect of Health and Safety management, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions or are looking for advice and support to maintain standards, call 01484 666160 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.