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An employee’s commitment to safety should begin even before their first day on the job and continue throughout their tenure with your company.

Fifty-two percent of workplace injuries occur within the first year of a person’s employment. This statistic calls attention to the significance of onboarding new hires into a safety culture. But the other 48 percent are equally important. Whether a person is on day one or year 30, if they work for you, their safety and well-being are your responsibility.

Here are some steps to continued workplace safety improvement:

  • Develop detailed job descriptions. To attract the right, safety-minded candidates, have well-documented job descriptions that detail all requirements related to safety and physical capabilities. This will give prospective hires a more realistic idea of job-related functions and priorities.
  • Use behavioral interview questions. They will help you determine whether an individual fits the safety core values of your organization.
  • Conduct post-offer functional capacity exams. Physicals, drug tests and related assessments evaluate the fitness and capacity of a candidate to safety perform their required duties. They also provide a baseline for a new employee’s existing health status.
  • Tailor safety training to the job. Your onboarding process should include more than just a one-size-fits-all safety presentation. Tailor safety training to each individual job; for example, what specific PPE is required? Which hazardous materials will an employee encounter? Where exactly are equipment shut-off switches located?
  • Pay special attention to new hires. Train supervisors and co-workers to watch out for and offer safety guidance to those who are new to their roles. Companywide, foster an environment where workers continuously learn from one another and encourage safety for everyone.
  • Make sure training never stops. Safety training is not just for newbies. Offer ongoing, updated programs for existing as well as new employees. Never stop setting expectations and raising the bar higher toward a zero-incident status.
  • Thoroughly analyze every accident. By uncovering the root cause and devising the right corrective action for every safety incident, you will continue to make improvements across every department and functional area of your company.
  • Practice what you preach. Make sure you’re visible on the floor, following all company safety rules, at all times. People will see your example as motivation, and follow your lead.
  • Communicate safety. Post clear, concise safety signs throughout your work site. Use all available media to relay the right messages, including a safety reminder at the start of every meeting. Make sure everyone has access to the gear, equipment and support they need to be compliant and well informed. Remember, it could be a matter of life and death.

Will 2018 be the year you develop your industry-leading safety program and incident-free culture? To develop onboarding and other workforce development strategies that yield the results you need, contact StaffMasters today. We can help you get there.

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