Top Five Tips for Better New/Returning Worker Safety Orientations


Spring has spring and that means new and returning workers for many organizations. Did you know that new workers have 5 to 7 times the risk of injury in the first 4 weeks of a new job? Seasonal work like construction, landscaping and hospitality typically has credible safety and health risks. A cornerstone to both a great experience for new employees and an incident free summer is a solid safety orientation. Here are 5 tips to a better orientation!

    1. Know the requirements. Check your local Workplace Safety legislation to see if there are specific requirements in your jurisdiction. The Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation Part 2 explicitly identifies WHO requires an orientation and WHAT information all new and returning workers must receive. In Manitoba the following topics must be included:
      1. the employer’s and worker’s rights and responsibilities under the Act and applicable regulations
      2. the name and contact information of the new worker’s supervisor
      3. the procedure for reporting safety concerns
      4. the procedure for exercising the right to refuse dangerous work
      5. contact information for the committee or the representative
      6. safe work procedures that apply to the work to be done by the worker
      7. the hazards to which the worker may be exposed and the control measures undertaken to protect the worker
      8. emergency procedures including the location of first aid facilities, means of summoning first aid and how to reporting illnesses and injuries
      9. identification of prohibited or restricted areas or activities
      10. any other matters that are necessary to ensure the safety and health of the worker while at work
    2. Develop a good checklist and require it to be filled out completely. A checklist helps systematize your orientation process and ensures that nothing important will be missed. A good Orientation Checklist should also include a place to record:
      1. The date of the orientation
      2. The name and signature of the person being orientated
      3. The name and signature of the person conducting the orientation
      4. Any other relevant information that was discussed

Ensure it’s delivered by a knowledgeable and interested person. Too many times Safety Orientations are skimmed over and/or delivered by a person who is “just getting the job done”. Worse, it’s provided by an external safety consultant. Remember that this is a PERSON with their well-being at stake. Orientations should be conducted by a person who understands the significance of Workplace Safety and Health to your people and the organization. Orientations must be specific to the workplace and ideally it is best if they are conducted by the new workers supervisor.

  1. Reinforce in the first 1 – 2 weeks on the job. Studies show that 90% of training is forgotten in 90 days. A solution to this is refresher training in the first one – two weeks. Make an effort to reinforce basic safety training in the first couple of weeks. This can be accomplished through regular safety talks or a good On–Line Orientation Training Program. Try our Manitoba Specific New and Returning Worker Orientation with no risk with mySafetyTraining
  2. Test for learning and retention (and due diligence). Include a competency check that tests the key principles contained in your orientation program. Maintain records of all documentation including tests.

For a New and Returning Worker Orientation Safety Talk to Share with your Managers and Supervisors click here.

To save 50% off Spring On-Line Safety Training (Including New and Returning Worker Orientation) click here.

Do you have questions about your Safety Management? Contact us to schedule a no obligation consultation with a senior safety professional at