New joiners to your business are a risk! They are keen and eager to start working but before they do you need to provide some Health and Safety Induction training. Not only do they need to know what to do in an emergency, you as a business owner need to fulfill the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 by providing induction training.
As an employer you have a responsibility to ensure you have a safe place of work, safe systems of work and provide Health and Safety information and training.
An induction should be a formal training session and comprise of more than a cursory walk around the building with a token "here is the fire exit... ". The extent of the induction training information will depend on the level of risks in the workplace and their working experience e.g. young workers will need more comprehensive induction training than someone who has working for a number of years.
The induction training should cover all relevant Health and Safety arrangements including fire precautions, evacuation procedures, where to find first aid, who to contact for further help and responsibilities for employers and employees. If the environment is a hazardous one e.g. a factory or utility installation, a more substantial induction will be provided and may take several hours. Some companies only issue a security pass once induction training has taken place.
Management responsibilities should be outlined and part of a manager's role is to ensure staff are familiar with safety procedures. New employees also have responsibilities and these should also be covered; in particular specific safety issues relating to their immediate working location.
A physical walk around of the workplace is essential to show the new joiner fire escapes and evacuation points. Alternative exits should be highlighted, especially in larger premises, as the main entrance may not be available in an emergency situation.
Like all training it is better delivered face to face but this is often impractical and not cost-effective. A lot of organisations provide a printed booklet with basic information and possibly use online training to deliver an induction session. Online training is useful as it records that it has been completed but is not viable for a small business so a printed book or staff handbook, together with other relevant information, is an effective way to provide Induction training.
As a business owner you need to record that induction training has taken place as this shows you have met the requirements of the law.
Nigel J Welford is a qualified Health & Safety professional and believes in making health and safety as simple as possible whilst still being effective and meeting all the regulations. For his free report "The Secret To How Health & Safety Can Improve Your Business And Profits: 7 Everyday Pitfalls To Avoid" from http://bit.ly/TI68sD
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