Why do health and safety inductions?
As an employer you have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of your employees. Besides the usual information that new employees are given such as hours of work, pay and holidays, company policies, etc. they should also be given some important health, safety and welfare information on the day they start.
This health, safety and welfare information should include the following:
- Company emergency evacuation procedures (ideally there should be a fire plan in place) and first aid arrangements in the event of an injury.
- Inform employees of the welfare facilities such as toilets, canteen area, etc. provided as well as the levels of hygiene and housekeeping standards expected by the company.
- Employees should also be shown any areas, walkways, equipment and/or machinery which are out of bounds or not to be used.
- If your company has 5 or more employees, then you should have a health and safety policy, and this should be communicated to all employees.
- If Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses, ear protection, safety footwear is required for the employee to carry out their job, then this should be issued along with training on how the employee should maintain and care for their equipment. A record of this should be kept.
- Perhaps most importantly, however, employees should be made aware of the safe working methods and any significant hazards associated with the tasks required to carry out the job. This should be carried out in conjunction with suitable training, ideally following written procedures or standard industry practices.
Any health and safety induction should be documented, with the employee acknowledging the content of the induction and, importantly, that they have understood it.
A good induction for employees is the first stage in fostering a successful health and safety within a business.
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