Under Section 21(2)(e) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act the employer must provide adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to employees so that they can work in a way that is safe and without risks to health. Note that this duty is NOT limited by 'so far as is reasonably practicable' - it is an absolute duty.
The employer must therefore ensure that all new workers - whether newly employed, or new to the work site - are provided with training, sometimes referred to as 'Induction Training'. There are a number of topics which need to go into a general OHS induction session:
- OHS Legislation: Overview of the OHS Act, including duties of all parties; consultative arrangements (the OHS reps and the committees); key regulations and codes of practice (those which are most relevant for your workplace)
- workplace policies and procedures (including the bullying/harassment policy; procedures to report hazards, incidents, injuries, and near misses; equal opportunity; hazardous substances; etc)
- what are the Designated Work Groups and who the OHS reps are
- major potential hazards in the workplace, potential effects, how to identify them, and how they are controlled in the workplace
- first aid arrangements, including who the first aiders are
- emergency evacuation procedures
- brief workers' comp and rehab rights
Obviously on top of this, each worker will require training specific to their job to ensure that they can do the job in a healthy and safe manner and know all the relevant procedures and so on.
WorkSafe can provide provide some useful advice:
- A Guidance Note - Employee Health and Safety Training, which provides advice on workplace OHS training in general.
- The construction industry has developed and an induction training program which has been agreed to by all stakeholders. More information: Induction Training (in construction)
And from Work Safe WA: a 23 minute film New to the Job which can be used as part of an induction program for new workers.
See also advice on this site on Young Workers.
Last amended September 2015