You need to provide new and young workers with sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure that they are competent to work safely.
An induction into the business, including working through your current policies and procedures, is a great way to convey safety standards and expectations to new workers.
It is your responsibility, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure that your workers are not put at risk from the way you conduct your business or the work undertaken by your business. This duty also extends to others in their workplace, such as clients, visitors, customers and volunteers.
You are required to provide:
- a safe work environment
- safe plant and structures
- safe systems of work
- safe use and handling of plant, structures and substances
- adequate facilities to support the welfare of workers
- information, training, instruction and supervision
- monitoring of workers’ health and workplace conditions to prevent illness or injury.
You must ensure your new workers receive effective induction, training and information. An induction is where you explain how you manage work health and safety at your workplace. You should cover:
- your workplace's health and safety policies
- the hazards and risks specific to your workplace and your employees job, and how they can control these
- who your employee should speak to if they are concerned about a health & safety matter
- the safe work procedures
- your emergency procedures
- who the first aiders, fire wardens and health and safety representatives are in your workplace
- the incident or hazard reporting procedures
- other work matters such as who to tell (and how) if they’re sick, pay and time keeping, working hours, eating and parking facilities, and any social matters.
To make your induction effective:
- pace your induction over several days; as new workers they may feel overwhelmed with too much information at once
- give clear verbal and written instructions
- demonstrate and explain how to perform tasks safely; watch them do it and correct any mistakes
- encourage them to ask questions
- involve their supervisor and health and safety representative
- follow up with support visits and training sessions
- be patient.
Workplace behaviour is a health and safety matter. Inappropriate behaviour in the workplace is not acceptable. You can eliminate or minimise the risk of inappropriate behaviours in your workplace by introducing proactive approaches and policies that create a co-operative respectful culture.
Young workers, particularly those starting a job for the first time, are usually unaware of how to deal with bullying, discrimination and other inappropriate behaviours. Be aware that some new or young workers may be afraid or reluctant to speak up about discrimination, harassment and bullying, until it’s too late. It’s vital that you create an environment where young workers feel comfortable raising these issues.