First Impressions Last
the importance of a good induction

GEMMA COLLINS DOYLE
Health and Safety Consultant at EazySAFE

I was in a large multinational a few weeks ago and to my surprise I was not asked to do an induction before I started working! I couldn’t believe it! It may be a bit of an inconvenience having to do an induction, when all you want to do is get stuck into the work at hand, but I have to say, I would much prefer the chance to get familiar with the company, before I start working, rather than trying to “wing it”, especially when it comes to the Health and Safety rules on site.

Not all companies are the same and not all companies expect the same from you, therefore it makes perfect sense to ensure everyone gets a chance to complete an up to date, concise but informative induction that will keep them engaged until the end and ensure that they have more knowledge about your site than they did before they entered your gates for the first time!

“Getting a new person to complete on an online induction before they come on site immediately sets the tone for EHS and speaks volumes about the company’s commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for all.”

Of course, my example above just relates to contractor/visitor induction, but new employee inductions are just as important. A new employee is like a new member of your family and it can be a daunting experience for anyone starting a new job (we’ve all been there!). Having their workspace and equipment all set up for them when they start is great and will help they know that they are valued, it’s even better when you can couple this with an induction that will cover everything they need to know about Health and Safety and Environment on site. Of course, it would be great if you could sit down with each new employee and spend an hour or two going through everything face-to-face, but we all know that in the busy work environment of EHS, this is just not really possible! That’s where having an up to date online induction comes in. Speaking from experience, I found this to be the best option, yes it takes a bit of work initially to get the material together for the induction, but once it is done, you only need to amend it when there are changes on site (which hopefully is not that often).

Getting a new employees/visitor/contractor to complete on an online induction before they come on site immediately sets the tone for EHS. It puts EHS to the top of their mind straight away and it and speaks volumes about the company’s commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for all.

“Capturing a new employee in their first week of work with a new company, is the prime time to ensure this new employee really understands the importance of EHS on site”

Capturing a new employee in their first week of work with a new company, is the prime time to ensure this new employee really understands the importance of EHS on site, what their responsibilities as an employee is, how they can contribute to a safe workplace and what to do in the event of an emergency. It is also great, if you can attach an interactive map to your induction, not only will it help the new employee to find their way around, but it will ensure they know the locations of assembly point, first aid kits, fire extinguishers etc.

It may be possible to integrate your new online EHS induction with the HR induction process. It would be convenient for both departments to work together on the induction and include everything in one place. HR will need to liaise with the EHS department in relation to new employees etc., so it makes sense to work together on this.

Online inductions have come so far in the last few years, being able to add photos, video clips, animations, customisation and online tests makes, this option a no brainer for any EHS Manager.

Another benefit of running online inductions, is that the EHS department has access to all the data relating to the inductions. This makes it easy to see who has completed their induction and who has not, making it easier for the EHS department to follow up with the individual.

In relation to contractor and visitor inductions, if you have an online induction in place you can send them the link before they come on site, saving them time and hassle when they arrive on site for the first time. Alongside this, you will also have the option of setting a short test at the end of each of the inductions; we all like to be challenged a bit, but don’t make it too hard!

Finally, as you can see from the above, I am an advocate for the online induction, however, I’m even more about people, so do make a point of meeting up with new employees at some stage and have a chat about EHS. Maybe they might have some good ideas from the last company they were working in, or maybe they might be interested in joining your Health and Safety committee or getting involved in some other way! Either way, you will have made a connection and put a face to EHS for them (and vice versa), which in my opinion, is so important.

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