As the sluggish economy begins to heat up rendering a more favorable business climate, cost conscious employers looking to grow their workforce need to be even more vigilant to their hiring practices. The search for a suitable fit can be an exhaustive exercise for a small business owner as well as for an HR professional in a large corporation. Finding and hiring the right person demands that safety be at the forefront of the decision-making process. Here’s why:
According to the Business & Legal Reports safety website, workplace injury statistics reveal that new employees are 5 times more likely to experience a lost-time injury in the first month of employment compared to the experienced worker. Additionally, studies show that 40 percent of all workers injured on the job have been at it less than a year.
Given these facts, ensuring the safety of the “newbie” is of utmost importance, particularly where a business’s greatest asset is its people. Equally, smart hiring practices and new employee safety orientation translate to preservation of the bottom line.
Proactive loss control measures in hiring should include:
- Post-offer, pre-placement physical exams, especially for physically demanding job positions.
- Written job descriptions that detail the physical aspect of the work tasks.
- New employee orientation and training on the equipment and tools associated with the job, emergency evacuation routes, location of first-aid kits, MSDSs, and items such as fire extinguishers.
Most occupational health providers offer pre-placement physicals for a nominal fee. These are designed to determine the functional capacity of the individual. The written job description stipulating physical demands can also be used in determining light duty activities for an injured employee with temporary work restrictions.
Use of an orientation checklist while showing the new hire the safety features of the workplace can serve as documentation of the facility safety tour.
As a timesaver, MEMIC has assembled a number of training checklists including an employee safety orientation form in the on-line MEMIC Safety Director resource library. (Note: MEMIC Safety Director requires user registration and is exclusively for MEMIC customers.) For additional resources on hiring practices, click on the Human Resources link under the bold heading Action Plans on the Safety Director’s home page.