Communicating Safety to New Employees


New hires are at a greater risk of being injured on the job than those who have been employed for an extended period of time. This is often based on the incoming staff member’s lack of familiarity with the environment. After all, with differing co-workers, policies and procedures, training and equipment, every job site is different.

Incorporate Safety into New Hire Training to Decrease the Risk of an Incident

There are a wide variety of safety risks involving new hires, even if they have operated in the same industry for their entire career. However, you can decrease the odds of one of your new hires sustaining an injury by properly and thoroughly communicating safety information with your incoming workers. Here are some tips on how to get started.

Avoid Making Assumptions

Many of the risks that exist in your organization seem avoidable through the use of basic common sense, particularly to anyone who has been with the company for an extended period. However, you should not assume your new hires understand these points, regardless of how obvious they may seem to seasoned team members. This means that all safety-related information needs to be clearly communicated no matter how much knowledge the person appears to have or the level of experience they have obtained.

Related Post: How to Onboard New Employees into Your Workforce

Integrate Safety Training Into the Onboarding Process

During these initial meetings, you have complete control over the new hire’s day, as they usually do not jump right into a position without a few starting formalities. Take advantage of this time and go over any and all safety rules and procedures, highlight major points of concern, and provide them with a tour of the facility, pointing out critical information, like the location of emergency equipment and first aid kits or identifying any hazardous materials, along the way. You can also make sure they have contact information for safety personnel on-site, providing them with clear instruction regarding who to reach out to should an incident occur or if they have questions.

Related Post: Effective Communication to Onboard Your New Hires

Provide Copies of Safety Policies and Procedures

As you present the information during the onboarding process, it is wise to give each new hire a copy of relevant policies and procedures, allowing them to review the details as needed. This can easily be included in a larger employee handbook or given as a separate document. By providing hard copies, you decrease the odds a worker will make a mistake simply because they weren’t informed. If you want to make sure the information was read, include a short quiz designed to test their knowledge of the most critical points and review any topics they got incorrect.

Related Post: What to Include in Your New Hire Packet

Make Regular Safety Discussions Mandatory

While going over the information during the onboarding process is vital, it should also be part of what turns into an ongoing discussion. Over time, it is easy to forget the nuances and details associated with safety policies and procedures, so having the entire staff participate in conversations regularly helps cement the information. This is especially true for industries where standards frequently change, making a yearly, or even quarterly, meeting essential.

Ultimately, a proactive approach to managing workplace safety is wise, so make sure your new hires are thoroughly briefed on the environment as well as all related policies and procedures that apply to their workplace.

Related Post: Four Ways to Stay Safe While Working on Construction Sites

Reduce Risk by Leasing Employees Through RealStreet

If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a skilled professional to join your staff, the team at RealStreet can help. Contact us to speak with an experienced member of our team today and see how our employee leasing and talent management services can help your company succeed.

A career in construction administration and management can be (and for me has been) one of constant transition. It’s rather common that employment with a given company starts and finishes with each successive project; you’re a new hire as it’s just getting “out of the ground,” then finished and looking for a new project (and Read More…

Greg Wangler, Pentagon Construction Management Division

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