New Hires Are At Risk Part 1

People new to a business or job are often inexperienced and unfamiliar with the new work environment, procedures, equipment, materials, machinery and tools that may be required to do the job; they are at a greater risk of injury or illness while at work.

New workers must, but often don’t receive the information, instruction, training or supervision they require, particularly in regard to health and safety. Some companies assume the worker knows the basics in health and safety procedures. New workers also want to impress their employer, supervisor and fellow workers.

It is the employer’s responsibility to provide all workers with adequate information, instruction, training and supervision, in a form that workers will understand. New workers cannot be simply be put into a new job and expect they will work safely; nor is it enough to simply provide new workers with a booklet, as they may not read or understand it. New workers must comprehend and fully understand the health and safety procedures.

The safety of the workplace which includes the work environment, equipment, machinery, tools, and procedures should also be accessed. Identify all possible dangers and ensure preventative measures are in place to eliminate any risk to workers.

Have a clear understanding of the role this new worker will be fulfilling and the work that will be done. The role could be replacing a previous worker or the role could be new for the company. All possible hazards that can affect the new worker must be identified and controlled. Developing a job description will help to outline the specific job requirements; this outline will point to some of the hazards of the job. Some further investigation through looking at the injury statistics, the job and tasks, and even talking to workers in similar positions. Developed and documented work procedures will explain the steps needed to do the job safely. This documented procedure can then be used during the training of a new worker.

Develop a selection process that will enable selection of the appropriate person for the job. The process should include interview questions, practical demonstrations, reference checks and health assessments. It is not unlawful to require medical examinations of job applicants. They should, however, only assess whether applicants are fit to perform the requirements of the job, and not their general state of health. A question to include is: are there any past related injuries to the job description.


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