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Is New Employee Safety Training Necessary?

Julie Copeland

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New Employee TrainingAccording to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 40% of workers injured have been on the job less than one year.  Why are new workers more likely to be hurt?  The main reason given is a lack of safety information from the employer.  In a BLS study of workers injured while operating power saws, nearly one in five said that no safety training on the equipment had been provided.

Many employers want to do the right thing and to provide proper training to new employees but don’t know where to get started.  Here are basics that should be discussed during a New Employee Orientation. 

Safety Objectives and Goals:  Let new employees know about your organization’s overall safety program outlining the safety objectives and goals.  Reiterate that every employee plays a large part in helping to meet these goals;

What to do if you get an on the job injury: Let new employees know that the first priority is to seek medical attention and to stay calm; 

Reporting accidents and injuries as well as near miss incidents: OSHA has specific record keeping requirements that must be followed. Train new employees on the importance of reporting any accident, injury or even near miss incidents immediately;

What to do in case of an emergency:  Employees should be trained to  become familiar with emergency action plans and to be aware of procedures to follow to protect themselves and others;

Warning signs and tags:  Many operations by their nature involve a certain element of risk.  Safety signs and tags are a means of preventing workplace accidents and injury by warning about the workplace hazards.  Instruct new employees that danger signs indicate immediate danger and precautions are necessary and on the conventions for sign color, symbols and labels;

Fire Safety: The best fire protection is fire prevention. Train new employees on how a fire starts; what is needed to extinguish a fire;when it's safe (if at all) to use an extinguisher and most importantly - your facilities Emergency Action Plan and what to do if you are trapped;

Hazard Communications: Approximately 32 million workers are potentially exposed to one or more chemical hazards in the U.S. each year.  You must provide your new employees with effective information on any chemicals in your workplace with a discussion on the hazards associated with them.  Employees should learn about your specific Hazard Communication program, to use use proper work practices and to know what to do in an emergency;

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Some jobs involve hazards that cannot be eliminated through the use of engineering controls.  Employers must assess workplace hazards and determine if PPE is needed.  The employer is responsible for selecting appropriate PPE and making sure it fits properly. New employees must be trained to know when PPE is necessary, how to properly wear PPE, the limitations and the proper care and maintenance of PPE;

Bloodborne Pathogens: Bloodborne Pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms/infectious agents that are transmitted by exposure through a compromise in the skin or mucous membranes to allow human blood; or fluid containing human blood, that can cause disease in humans.  New employees should be trained to know the threats posed by bloodborne pathogens (AIDS & Hepatitis B can result from exposure) and which job duties might expose them;

Lockout/tagout:  Lockout/tagout (LOTO) is a warning and prevention system for unexpected startup and release of stored energy.  Employees servicing equipment must be trained in depth but employees working nearby should be taught that tags are essentially warning devices affixed to energy isolating devices and do not provide the physical restraint on those devices that is provided by a lock and that when a tag is attached – it is NOT to be removed without authorization;

Housekeeping: Housekeeping is NOT just clean floors - it is the best indicator of safety.  Train employees on proper housekeeping procedures including how to prevent, detect and cleanup leaks and spills;

Safe Lifting Techniques:  Most back problems are preventable. There are a variety of stresses that improper lifting, twisting and bending can put on the back.  Train employees on proper lifting techniques and stress that If it’s too heavy…GET HELP !!!!!!!!!;

Electrical Safety:  Hundreds of deaths are attributed to contact with electrical current each year.  Train your employees on how to avoid becoming a statistic by using safe work practices;

Hearing Conservation:  Noise is a pervasive occupational health problem and is a by-product of many industrial processes.  Noise can make you tired and irritable, increase your stress level and make you miss hearing important warnings.  Employers must take steps to reduce noise levels wherever possible and to provide appropriate PPE where necessary.  Employees must be trained to understand noise hazards and to take appropriate precautions when they are exposed to excessive noise.

Arbill’s top notch compliance trainers are members of your team who facilitate your organization’s compliance training program once the courses are recommended by your EH&S services consultant and approved by your team.  All Arbill compliance trainers have advanced safety certifications.

Contact your Arbill representative today to discuss new employee orientation training as well as our complete line of training services.  Visit arbill.com for more information on how to keep your employees safe.  Subscribe to our Safety Blog here so that you never miss out on Safety news and tips to keep your employees safe everyday.

Topics: safety, Arbill, safety training, safe everyday, electrical hazards, workplace hazards, keep your employees safe, personal protective equipment, workplace injuries

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