What should be considered for effective inductions?
Inductions are an important information sharing session that helps to familiarise people with the locations, equipment, materials, processes and tasks they may encounter while working at or visiting a site for the first time.
To achieve the best results, inductions need to be tailored and targeted. They should accommodate all workers (i.e. employees, contractors, trainees).
The topics covered typically include:
- hazards and associated risks
- safe work procedures and practices
- communication protocols
- emergency procedures
- workplace facilities.
Workers may require a refresher if:
- they have been absent for some time
- there have been site changes (e.g. modified traffic system)
- the work environment is different to that normally encountered (e.g. switching to night shift for first time).
Site inductions should ensure workers receive appropriate safety information and, before commencing work, can recognise the hazards on site that can harm them. Workers should also understand the control measures in place to protect them from those hazards.
Induction requirements should be determined using information sourced from:
- legislative requirements
- site-specific competency and training needs analysis
- risk management processes
- relevant training packages
- changes to site (e.g. change in traffic management)
- health and safety management system
- standards applicable to site.
All site inductions should contain an assessment to ensure the required knowledge has been retained by the worker. It is important to review the site’s induction regularly to determine if the content is still relevant.
Site inductions should comprise a formal program that provides workers with an understanding of:
- site layout including emergency muster points
- emergency contact numbers and emergency procedures
- the duty-of-care obligations of the PCBU and workers
- common hazards and risks on the site and their control measures
- basic risk management principles and tools used on site
- reporting processes including hazards, incidents, injuries and faults
- the standard of behaviour expected of workers
- communication and reporting procedures
- the roles and function of health and safety representatives and the health and safety committee.
Inductions should be completed by those who work at the workplace, including supervisors, employees, self-employed persons and contractors.
Further information: When deciding how to present the induction, also consider the literacy levels, grasp of the language understood by the inductee, cognitive load (and perceived relevance of the subject (which determines interest). Providing pages of text that is too legalistic or technical, then asking inductees to read it and sign off as having understood the content, is unlikely to achieve the aims of the induction, which is to prepare people for the workplace, and would not be considered an effective or adequate induction.
Overloading the inductee with other training or information that should stand alone may be counterproductive and prevent workers from retaining important safety information.
Area-specific inductions are conducted to inform the worker of specific hazards they may encounter in their work area, and the controls that should be in place before starting tasks.
Items to cover in an area-specific induction can include:
- layout of work area or plant
- emergency muster points and evacuation procedures
- personal protective equipment and facilities
- first aid facilities
- firefighting equipment for the area
- ablution block and crib facilities
- area hazards and controls.
Visitor inductions are conducted to inform visitors about what is expected of them while on site. The induction may include limitations and the rules for tasks being performed, and requirements for a site escort.
Visitor inductions should also describe the procedure in the event of an emergency and the location of emergency muster points.
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