More than half of workplace accidents involving young and new workers occur during their first six months on the job. Providing effective orientation and training is the best way to prevent accidents. As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that your workers are prepared for the job before they start working.
Training must be specific to the workplace and should be an ongoing process. Even an experienced worker will require a new orientation if circumstances change or new hazards develop. For example, there may be a new work process or new equipment; or the worker may be moved to a new work location or assigned to a different task.
HOW TO CONDUCT AN ORIENTATION
There are four basic steps to any training or orientation session.
Step 1: Evaluate the situation
First decide what areas the worker needs training in. Compare the worker’s job description to the Worker Orientation Checklist. If there is no job description, this would be a good time to write one. If this is the first time you’ve oriented the worker, plan for a thorough training session.
If you are re-orienting the worker, you probably won’t need to do the complete orientation – just focus on the topics that relate to the new situation or new hazards. It’s a good idea to prepare a handout sheet for workers with contact information for supervisors and first aid attendants, as well as where to find more information about worker rights and responsibilities in the Regulation.
Step 2: Train the worker
Sit down with the worker and go over the checklist. You should walk around to show them emergency exits and first aid facilities, and to demonstrate specific work procedures. (You can do this yourself or assign someone else to do it.) A typical orientation should take anywhere from one to four hours. An effective orientation should make workers aware of potential hazards and let them know who to talk to if they have questions about health and safety in the future.
Step 3: Test the worker
Make sure the worker understands the training. Test the worker’s knowledge by asking questions about specific procedures (for example, how to clean the grill and dispose of hot oil) or general requirements (for example, when and where they need to use personal protective equipment). Follow up later – ask workers questions within a few days and periodically over the next month or two.
Step 4: Keep records of the orientation
Be sure to document all training. An orientation checklist will help ensure that you have covered all the key topics when training a new worker. Give copies of the checklist and other relevant materials to the worker and keep copies for your own records.