New Employees

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New Employees Safety Talk

New employees often are viewed as a liability to a company or jobsite when it comes to working safely. One study found that employees with less than one month on the job are three times more likely to suffer a lost time injury than employees with more than a year on the job. While new employees are at higher risk at getting injured, much of that depends on the other employees and the work site itself.

Benefits of New Employees

A new employee often wants to follow all the safety rules especially if the majority of people onsite are following the rules as well. If a new employee observes the other employees working safely they will often want to do the same. New employees also have a fresh set of eyes towards hazards onsite and may have experiences of unique lessons learned from previous jobs. That being said, measures should still be taken to ensure new employees are able to and do perform work safely.

Safeguards for New Employees

  • Training- Even if a new employee has many years of experience on the job at another company they still need comprehensive training on their job at the new company, jobsite, and the company’s expectations.
  • Mentoring- Many companies use some type of mentoring program to ensure that new employees have someone to ask questions and get guidance from. This allows for a new employee to be more comfortable approaching a more experience employee with any questions he or she might have.
  • Supervision- Newer employees or even just employees on new tasks need to be supervised. Proper supervision may not necessarily mean an employee’s immediate supervisor. Depending on the task, a subject matter expert or a senior employee may be more beneficial for supervision of newer employees. Just like mentoring, a newer employee may feel more comfortable and get more out of being supervised by someone else other than their immediate supervisor.

Summary

While new employees can be a liability to a company, they also can serve as a great asset to everyone around them. The odds of a new employee avoiding an injury greatly depend on the other employees around them. Everyone starts somewhere and needs guidance in the beginning. Remember the struggles and important lessons learned as a new employee and pass that knowledge on. Safety on the job is everyone’s responsibility. Watch out for those around you and never hesitate to help out a new employee.

Discussion point:

-What is the biggest hazard for a new employee on this job?

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