Pair a new hire with a safety buddy
Finding enough time to properly orientate your new employees can be a problem. In the initial orientation, there will be a lot to cover, paperwork to do and a quick overview of policies.
Orientation buddies can help. Every new hire should have an orientation buddy to help him or her get off to a 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, safety data sheets and equipment usage. By imparting safety knowledge along the way, they are having a secondary effect by making the newcomer feel valued and informed. This can lead to a more engaged and productive employee.
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 start work.
Safety Specialist Rick Means is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected].