Safety tip of the week

May 15, 2019
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Written by Washington Retail
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Improve Safety for Younger Workers

Finding enough time to properly train your new employees can be a challenge.

Orientation buddies can help. Every new hire should have an orientation buddy to help him or her get off to a good, safe start. They can show your new workers around and also point out the safety elements the company has built in such as the location of the fire exits and extinguishers, first-aid kits, eyewash stations, SDS, equipment usage.  By imparting safety knowledge along the way, they are having a secondary effect by helping the newcomer be better informed.

In order to carry out these important duties successfully, orientation buddies should:

  • Have been with your organization for at least a year.
  • Have a good performance history and a safe work record.
  • Be skilled in the new employee’s job.
  • Possess broad knowledge about your organization, your operations, and your safety programs.
  • Have the time to spend with the new employee and be willing to take on the assignment.
  • Be patient and communicate well.
  • Serve as a positive safety role model.

Building relationships through this type of mentoring is another way to ensure that new employees have the resources they need to succeed.

Seasoned employees can help new employees on the job and provide support.  New employees can be hesitant about asking questions for fear of appearing incompetent.  The company’s orientation program should include easy access to resources to reduce new employee frustration and to provide essential, effective safety training to new hires as soon as they come on board.

Washington Retail has a free app that can help your young worker out with some safety basics that can be found here.

WR employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com