Safety training and the enforcement of safety procedures are a vitally important part of the workplace. General Safety Employee Orientation is a key aspect of worker training in order to have workers who can accomplish their jobs safely, correctly, and efficiently.
Many OSHA standards require employers to conduct employee training about the general safety and health areas of their jobs. It is the employer’s responsibility, after all, to train employees to be assigned jobs that require certification, or ratings as competent or qualified. To do so means presenting a general safety employee orientation that covers certain key training topics.
The idea is to provide general industry workers with information about their rights and responsibilities, as well as the responsibilities of their employers. Information about how to file a complaint, how to identify and avoid hazards and prevent safety issues from occurring is also mandatory information.
Training and orientation is specifically designed to cover general industry practices regarding safety and hazards. The orientation should emphasize the identification of hazards, control and prevention of hazards, and the avoidance of hazards. There are certain required topics such as workers rights, employer responsibilities and the process for filing complaints regarding worker safety and health.
Also required are necessary and informative instructions as to fall protection and safety standards for walking and for working surfaces; emergency action plans, fire prevention plans, fire protection, and the very important knowledge of exit routes in case of an emergency of any kind.
Electrical safety and the use of personal protective equipment are also important topics to be covered and discussed thoroughly during an orientation for general safety.
Hazard Communication is another important topic, touching on labeling and the required "right-to-know" knowledge about the chemicals employees work with. The use of Safety Data Sheets that list chemicals’ physical properties and hazards should also be covered. Such information should be obtained and used for each specific product utilized in the workplace in order to demonstrate solid and easily understood information about chemicals and improve worker safety
Additionally, general safety orientation should feature training on appropriate topics such as: Hazardous Materials, Materials Handling, Machine Guarding, and an Introduction to Industrial Hygiene. Other topics to be covered could include bloodborne pathogens, which is especially pertinent in a health care environment, Ergonomics, fall protection, and a safety and health program. General industry hazards, employer policies, and specific job-designated training topics should round out the orientation process.
When a general safety orientation is planned, required topics must be covered, including employee orientation training basics such as alerting new workers on how to perform their jobs with the utmost safety. Orientation is also the right time to provide information that is designed to reduce new hire accidents and injuries, explore specific job hazards, and stress work place safety practices to provide a safer environment overall.
To sum up, truly effective orientation leads to professional and personal growth and safety in the workplace, which will serve to grow productivity and long range goals.