Safety for New Workers

Why is safety training so important to new workers and / or to someone who is moving into a new job or position? New workers are 5 times more likely to be injured on the job than experienced workers, and most of those injuries occur within 90 days after starting a new job. Here is a sobering example from a newly released fatality report that describes a such an incident:

A 21 year old warehouse worker was killed when the fork lift he was driving rolled over and crushed him. The OSHA investigation determined the worker had no prior experience, was not provided adequate training, was not wearing a seat belt, and it was his 6th day on the job. It was also his last day.

New workers, young workers, or those moving into a new position must have the safety training which provides the knowledge and skills that are required to do that job safely. A perfect storm for potential injuries arises when an employer makes the assumption that the employee knows how to do the job safely, while at the same time the employee is not willing to ask questions. Every manager has the duty to be sure that each employee possesses the training, skills, and knowledge to perform their job safely.

A few important safety training items that might be overlooked:

  • How to recognize, eliminate, and report a safety risk rather than to wait for an incident to happen.
  • What to do, who to call, and where to shelter in an emergency situation.
  • What to do in a machine breakdown or process upset condition.
  • Conveying the safety message that: All injuries are preventable. Working safely is a condition of employment.


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