Why do new workers get hurt more?
A worker who knows all the ins-and-outs of their position and has spent years on the site will be more efficient than someone who has just started. But, learning on the fly in situations like this could be riskier than you may think. Research from Toronto’s Institute for Work & Health shows that workers who had been at a job for a month or less had three times the risk of suffering a lost-time injury compared to those who had been at a job for over a year. Additionally, a lack of experience can lead to a new worker not fully understanding or evaluating risks while on the clock, leading them to engage in certain actions during their shift that may cause injury to themselves or others.
4 tips to help new workers stay safe
- Recognize and reward new workers following proper safety protocols
Be on the look-out for new workers while they’re doing their jobs. Give them positive feedback when you see them following proper protocol and encourage them to keep up the good work. This could be anything from a thumbs up to a material reward like a free lunch. Actions like these give the new worker more confidence in their newly assigned duties while also promoting safety standards at your company.
- Have a formal check-in with new hires after their first 30 days on the job
New coworkers should be treated with special attention, so they can be reinforced with proper protocol after the completion of their training. A good way to prevent bad habits from sticking is to check-in with new workers after they complete 30 days at their job to review rules and regulations in case they may have picked up any bad habits in their first few weeks.
- Require in-house competency testing and schedule on-site observations
Even if in-house competency testing isn’t required by OSHA on your jobsite, make sure your new workers show you they understand certain rules and will follow safety protocols. Going several steps further, announcing to new workers that they will be observed performing their tasks on certain dates lets them prepare for said observances and study the rules of the site.
- Follow up with them after a few months on the job
New workers can be used as a litmus test for future training programs and modules. What lessons and examples are they picking up right away? What procedures do they wish they would have learned about earlier in their on-boarding process? The answers to these questions can be immensely beneficial for how all your future workers are trained.
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to make sure that your new team members are properly equipped with the right information and the right gear to be successful on the job.