Orienting New Workers and Young Workers

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What is this?
Employers have always had a responsibility to make sure workers are prepared for the job before they start working. One part of that is orienting new workers to the health and safety information related to their job and worksite. WorkSafeBC has amended their regulations to clarify these responsibilities in a clear, specific way.

Do they affect me?
The nature of forestry operations (outdoor locations, changing conditions and sites etc) mean almost everyone operating in the sector should be aware of these new regulations and ensure that they are in compliance.

Specifically: If you hire any new worker under the age of 25 OR if a new worker is starting work at an existing worksite OR if existing workers are facing hazards on their current workplace that have changed or developed, OR if existing workers are in a new location that has different hazards than the old ones, then this regulation applies to your operation.
What do I have to do?

If you have been involved in some of our Council safety activities, the need and importance of safety orientations is very familiar:
•The Safety Tool kit that all SAFE Companies registrants receive discusses the safety orientation process in Chapter 8;
•Both the BASE and SEBASE audit address safety orientation in the training, education and certification requirements;
•The Small Employer OHS training course also reminds employers of their responsibilities around safety orientation and provides some sample tools for you to use in your program;
•People who have taken the Council’s Basic Forest Supervisor training are shown how
to assess initial worksite orientation requirements.
To refresh, there are 4 basic steps…
•Evaluate the situation;
•Train the worker;
•Test the worker;
•Keep records of the orientation.

WorkSafeBC has developed a sample worker orientation checklist that you can download as a Word document and modify to suit your needs and use for your workers. You can find the document here at http://www2.worksafebc.com/Topics/YoungWorker/Resources-Employers.asp?re... as well as more information about the new regulations.

Why this Change?
It’s simple – new workers and young workers are vulnerable to injuries – because of inexperience, not wanting to ask questions, and (sometimes) training that does not ensure they are competent to do their work.

It’s easy to take shortcuts when bringing new workers or young workers onto a worksite. Take the time to make sure they understand that safety is a priority. While this is only one part of changing the forest industry’s historically poor safety record it helps reinforce that unsafe is unacceptable.

File attachments
2007-07-26 Orienting New Workers and Young Workers.pdf
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