Most companies assume quite a bit of their employees when it comes to safety issues. They assume their employees know how to stay safe in the shop environment. This can be a terrible mistake. Most people won’t know the right questions to ask – indeed – newcomers may not even recognize the fact that they have been placed in a dangerous working environment. As the employer, it is your responsibility to alert and inform them.
There are three common times when this training should be done – though you may elect to do even more. First, safety training should be done with new hires. You don’t know what kind of safety habits (good or bad) a person brings with them from their previous employer/s. New people should be afforded the opportunity to learn your company’s safety practices – not to figure them out on their own.
Second, safety training should be done whenever a situation changes. Changes could stem from the implementing of new machines or new processes – or a person could be moved from one area of the company to another. Different situations have different safety issues. Be sure that your people know the safety implications of their new situation.
And third, I recommend that you do continuing refresher courses on safety issues to ensure that people stay up to speed. A brief (and incomplete) list of safety topics is included in the Instructor Notes article earlier in this newsletter. It shows the kinds of topics your people should be aware of. Surely there will be more specific considerations for people working in your company.