It’s a legal requirement to ensure new employees understand the hazards and safety risks within their work environment. Safety induction training is the first step in that process. This is where compliance obligations and duty of care requirements are met and new employees receive training to keep them safe at work from day one. Organisations are faced with the challenge of how to effectively design and deliver a safety induction, that leads to an employee being engaged, productive, aware of systems and procedures and understand hazards [read our post on hazard perception and common sense]. It’s common for employees to become complacent with safety induction training due to it’s repetitive delivery, legalistic content and lack of participation. A new employee may have completed a number of safety inductions in the past where their immediate thought was: “How quickly can I get through this training?”
In this post we look at what should be covered in a safety inductions and discuss the benefits of interactive delivery methods.
What should your safety induction cover?
An effective safety induction involves familiarising new employees with the hazards they are likely to encounter while working, so they can conduct themselves in a manner that doesn’t endanger themselves or anyone else. The safety induction should also ensure that workers understand their health and safety responsibilities. For safety induction training to be meaningful, it needs to address specific issues that employees will encounter in their work environment. The content should include task specific and current hazards, rather than generic hazards. Below is a list of the main areas safety inductions should cover.
- Inform the employees about hazards and risks in their workplace.
- The organisation’s health and safety policies and procedures.
- Emphasise the importance of sticking to safe work practices.
- The responsibility employees have in reducing incidents and accidents.
- Employees responsibility for ensuring their own safety and the safety of others, as well as protecting their work environment.
- The workplace’s rules about smoking, breaks and the code of conduct.
- The procedures for reporting incidences and injuries and near misses.
- The evacuation and emergency procedures for the work site, including emergency exits, evacuation instructions, assembly points and the use of fire alarms and fire fighting equipment.
- Inform employees about first aid and other emergency contacts.
- If an employee’s job involves high-risk activity such as the operation of machinery or handling hazardous chemicals and dangerous goods, it’s important that they are properly trained, understand any associated risks, and they have access to appropriate personal protective equipment.
Employees learn better with interactive training
Running safety inductions online is the most practical, convenient, cost-effective way to manage health and safety training for employees. However, online delivery shouldn’t be classroom training that’s rehashed to be delivered online. Learners need ownership, an active role in the process and relevance. This will produce a learning interaction that guides and embeds knowledge that will be ingrained during subsequent work practices.
Safety training delivery is changing and changing fast due to new employees being part of a technology-savvy generation [see our post on immersive training methods]. Their expectation to receiving interactive, relevant safety training is influenced by their increased use of smart phones, gaming platforms, social media and real time interactions with global peers on a daily basis. Training is no longer consumed by this generation, as it’s been in the past via passive deliveries, e.g. classroom chalk and talk. There’s now more emphasis than ever to create engaging learning experiences that adopt virtual technologies and digital sites. Proactive hazard identification learning activities in safety induction has been shown to embed knowledge and significantly reduce workplace incidents and injuries.
Sky, a media entertainment company and largest pay-TV broadcaster in Europe was facing high rates of employee turnover and high per-capita spend on face to face training. With new starters required to complete up to 10 hours of discretionary learning before they even joined, the new induction program had to be engaging. They designed an e-learning adventure involving questions, competitions and role play in virtual worlds. After the first year of the program sales conversations for new starters increased in week one, 37.5 hours were saved in training each recruit, approximately 1 million pounds per year was saved in induction delivery costs, and return on investment for the redesign was achieved within six months.
Don’t worry if you aren’t ready for role play in virtual worlds, you can use 360-degree photographic panoramas of real work sites to deliver your safety induction training. This delivery method is highly realistic because it uses real work site images. The immersive experience continues with the user able to navigate around and interact through the photo. The advantage of this delivery method is the ability to develop training specifically for a variety of industries and work sites. The environment that is photographed is rich in data and context and challenges the employee to find safety issues within their typical working environment. At Tap Into Safety we can produce a high quality panoramic image, while at the same time allowing for acceptable download times when in use by employees on mobile devices and online.
Don’t just take our word for it though, here is what one of our clients has to say.
“By incorporating Tap Into Safety in our induction program, we have an engaging mechanism for clearly communicating key and critical controls associated with our high risk activities. The reports generated, provide an invaluable tool through which we can now accurately identify and address any knowledge gaps prior to workers commencing.” Daryl Marshall, National Safety & Compliance Manager Asplundh Tree Expert Australia
Enhance your induction training today, contact us for your free demonstration.