The Crucial Role of Safety Onboarding in the Workplace

The Crucial Role of Safety Onboarding in the Workplace

Safety onboarding is an essential part of any safety program. It ensures that new employees understand the company’s safety rules and procedures. It also helps create a culture of safety in the organization. A well-thought-out safety onboarding program can significantly lower injury rates and improve insurance costs.

New Employee Injury Rates: The Startling Statistics

Numbers from the National Safety Council show how crucial safety onboarding is. New employees are three times more likely to get hurt in their first month compared to experienced workers. In 2020, workers with less than one year of experience had 45% of all injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These facts clearly highlight the importance of safety onboarding for new employees.

Ensure Employee Safety Through Safety Onboarding

One of the primary reasons for the high injury rate among new employees is a lack of training. When employees receive proper training, they are less likely to get hurt. Safety onboarding should cover important topics such as:

The company’s safety policies and procedures

The hazards associated with the job

The proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

How to report hazards, near misses, and safety incidents

Address Bad Habits of Experienced Employees Early

Experienced employees can often bring bad habits they have developed over time. Experienced employees sometimes develop unsafe habits over time. I have seen this cost employers repeatedly. It’s important to identify and address unsafe habits early on. Everyone, regardless of experience, should receive training to reinforce safety procedures.

Hold Managers Accountable for Safety Onboarding

If you work in a small company, you might not have a separate training department. Managers play a crucial role in making safety onboarding successful. Holding them responsible for overseeing the onboarding process is important. Managers should provide thorough safety orientation, monitor progress, and address any concerns immediately.

The Importance of a Well-Structure System

Having a well-organized safety onboarding system is crucial for consistency and effectiveness. It should also be flexible enough to adapt to different job roles. Create checklists that focus on the specific hazards of each job title. Regular audits should be done to make sure managers are following the required onboarding process.

Job Safety Observations: Ensure Safe Task Execution

Job Safety Observations (JSOs) are a helpful tool to ensure employees know how to do their work safely. They allow you to correct any unsafe practices and reinforce safe work procedures. This process makes sure employees follow safety rules and use equipment safely. Managers, supervisors, or experienced employees can conduct these observations. Remember to document all JSOs. If there’s an incident, these records show that you took steps to ensure employees could work safely.


Safety onboarding is crucial for new employees. Remember these key points:

Train employees in safe work practices. 

Hold managers accountable for the onboarding process. 

Address any unsafe habits of experienced employees.

Perform JSOs to verify that new hires know how to work safely.

Implement a well-structured, regimented system. 

Safety onboarding ensures that new employees are aware of job hazards and relevant safety procedures. It reduces the risk of injuries, lowers insurance claims, and creates a safer workplace.