By Tim Baxter, Road Safety and Loss Prevention Specialist
Among the important items commonly found missing from the Internal Road Department Assessments conducted in 2017 and 2018 was information that should be presented to new hire employees.
Many times, new hires in road departments are told to report to the shop on a certain day without being given the proper manuals, insurance instructions, necessary paperwork, introductions, etc. Your office should require the necessary employee information before the new employee sets foot on a job site for the safety of all.
Once the proper paperwork has been completed and signed by the new employee and manuals and other information have been provided, then is the time to give the new employee a tour of the facilities. The facility tour should include the location of all exits, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, eye wash stations, personal protective equipment, and other important information related to safety and the work environment.
After the facility tour, the new employee should be introduced to the remainder of the road department employees.
Accidents have occurred due to new employees not being provided with the proper equipment operator training. One incident was a new employee upsetting a steel faced roller within a couple hours of beginning work due to the new employee’s lack of experience and training with that equipment. Fortunately, the new employee was thrown clear of the roller and was not injured but it could have been much worse.
The official in charge of new hires needs to be aware of the equipment the new employee can and cannot operate. The new employee should be required to complete the Employee Profile that is included in the New Employee Orientation Packet. This information is very beneficial, mainly so the new employee is not asked to perform a task for which he/she has no experience. You should also know, from the profile, the necessary training required for the new employee.
The new employee should be encouraged to ask questions of experienced operators, management, etc. if unsure of a situation. This will hopefully reduce the chance of accidents and improve the new employee’s knowledge of the task at hand. It’s important to make sure the new employee understands that asking questions is encouraged and acceptable.
To assist you with new employee orientation, you can download an example Employee Orientation Packet along with a sample Employee Profile form that should be included in your new employee orientation packet.