Beimdiek Blog

New Employee - New Risk

We know that newly hired workers face a higher injury rate. Recent research from the Institute for Work & Health finds that the higher risk of work injury among new workers has persisted over the past ten years. Here on some annualized statistics to consider:

More than 5,500 employees in this country die on the job each year
1.3 million workers suffer nonfatal injuries that result in days away from work
This suggests workplaces need to do more to ensure new workers get the training and supervision they need to stay safe on the job.

Here are a few things that you can do to enhance the development of new employees and preserve the safety culture you have worked so hard to develop.

1. Develop detailed job descriptions.

A high-level summary of the key duties
Identification of the values that should be demonstrated by all staff
A detailed list of the responsibilities
A description of the experience, knowledge, skills and abilities required
A list of any special working conditions or minimum physical requirements - e.g. must be able to lift 20 pounds

2. Background checks.

All employers, as part of their risk management strategy, have an obligation to exercise a reasonable duty of care in hiring. Background checks give you insight as to the potential history or track record of the individual you are potentially brining on staff. Don't make the fatal mistake of "hiring a problem child".

3. Post offer pre-hire screenings.

This step is crucial in determining if the candidate aligns with the job description you have created. The assessment is done after a candidate applies for a job and may be used by the employer to narrow the field of candidates in consideration for a job offer. Post-offer testing provides a far richer data set than traditional pre-employment testing, including a medical history and pre-existing condition catalog that is helpful in assessing appropriate level of the candidates capabilities. This screening can prove to be extremely valuable in the event of a workplace injury or Workers Compensation claim.

4. Orientation and training.

Employee orientation training basics include showing new workers how to perform their jobs safely and efficiently. But leading companies know that it is important to go much further than that. Orientation is the perfect time to begin soft skills training, and to introduce employees to the company, its products, its culture and policies - and even to the competition. Adding this to your new employee orientation checklist can greatly improve worker satisfaction and employee retention.

The goal of your safety policy should be to ensure an accident-free workplace while maintaining a high level of productivity. Your new employee orientation checklist should include teaching new hires during employee orientation training to:

Continue to participate in all safety training sessions as required;
Report any hazards and unsafe conditions they see. Report any incidents and near misses that occur. Organizations to know about problems so they can investigate their causes and make necessary changes;
Remember that they play a big role in the successful implementation of safety in the organization. Always keep a "safety attitude" and urge others to also; and
Ask their supervisors for help whenever they are not sure how to proceed safely.

If you or your company need assistance in developing these policies or procedures give me a call 417-358-4007.Written by Brent Westhoven

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