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What is a site induction? Why are they important for contractors?

Image of person with a hard hat standing in front of a building

As an employer, you’re responsible for everyone who works on your site and that includes contractors as well as direct employees.

From a legal aspect, you have to ensure they work safely and do no harm to themselves or anyone else while from a business perspective you need to know they’re competent to do the job for which they’re employed.

For these reasons and more, it’s important that a full and comprehensive induction is carried out for every contractor before they’re allowed to start work. This induction will cover aspects that apply to the company generally but may also deal with site-specific or task-specific topics.

In this article
Details to be Covered by a Contractor Site Induction
The Benefits of Online Inductions

Details to be Covered by a Contractor Site Induction

A site induction has several purposes and involves different tasks:

  • Collecting information to ensure that the contractor is fully compliant to work on the site. This information includes appropriate and up-to-date insurance cover, licences, required certification and evidence of appropriate training.You will also need contact details in case of an emergency as well as details for payment. Automatic reminders will need to be scheduled for when any of the policies, certification and licences expire so that they can be renewed in good time and recorded on the system.
  • Presenting information that covers site safety and details of the workplace.This will include all relevant information, such as policies and procedures, with topics on contractor obligations and duty of care, quality, environment, dangerous goods and hazardous substances, alcohol and drugs, personal protective equipment and permit to work.Contractors need to be informed of specific site hazards, what to do when encountering them and how to contact local emergency services. They also need to be aware of the actions to be taken when new hazards or safety issues are seen so that problems are avoided.
    Assessing contractor competence to work on site and carry out the required tasks. This may be combined with pre-qualification and can involve testing of the contractor, taking up references and verification of supplied documentation.

All details of the induction must be recorded, including acknowledgements from contractors that they have received the appropriate information. You must also record the relevant dates so that required updates can be organised if legislation or requirements change.

The Benefits of Online Inductions

Site inductions have traditionally taken the form of room-based, face-to-face sessions.

However, online inductions offer many benefits that include:

  • Consistency of the message since all inductees receive the same information and this is not dependant on the differing approaches of those conducting the induction
  • Reduced costs due the elimination of printed handouts, the need for someone to handle the induction and the requirement for a specific room
  • Customised content that reflects the needs of different sites and tasks but has consistent company information that needs to be produced only once until update is needed
  • Availability when needed so that inductees can access details at their convenience from anywhere and can do this at their preferred pace, going back over topics as many times as necessary
  • A complete record of training, with participants having to record their progress, answer test questions and receiving a printed certificate or induction card on successful completion.

Site induction is essential to reduce security and safety risks and to ensure the competence and compliance of all contractors as well as employees. Online induction is even better, however, because it produces all the benefits of traditional methods plus additional ones that include a speedier, more reliable and effective process.

Q1: Can online inductions be customized to match my company’s specific needs?

Absolutely. Our online induction platform can be tailored to reflect the specific needs of different sites and tasks within your company. You can add company-specific information, which will be consistent across all inductions and only needs to be produced once until an update is needed.

Q2: Is there a way to ensure that contractors have understood the information presented in the online induction?

Yes, our online induction system includes functionality for testing participant knowledge. This involves answering test questions during the induction process to ensure comprehension. Successful completion can be confirmed with a printed certificate or induction card.

Q3: How can I track progress and compliance with the online inductions?

Our online system maintains a comprehensive record of each participant’s progress. This includes recording the progress of the induction and issuance of completion certificates or induction cards. It ensures full compliance and allows for easy reference when needed.

Q4: Can contractors access the online induction from anywhere?

Yes, one of the advantages of our online induction system is that it can be accessed from anywhere, at any time—it’s optimised for smartphone use. Inductees can proceed at their own pace, reviewing topics as many times as necessary to ensure understanding.

Q5: How does the online induction system handle updates in legislation or requirements?

Our online induction platform is designed to be flexible and easy to update. If legislation or company requirements change, the relevant content in the induction can be updated to reflect these changes. Any changes to your requirements can be forwarded to the LinkSafe team and updated accordingly.  

Q6: How can I ensure that all documentation is up to date?

Our online induction system includes functionality for scheduling automatic reminders for when credentials, certifications, and licenses are due to expire. This helps ensure that all necessary documentation can be renewed in good time and recorded on the system, maintaining full compliance.

Q7: What kind of information should I include in the site safety portion of the induction?

The site safety portion of the induction should include all relevant policies and procedures, contractor obligations, quality and environmental considerations, details on handling dangerous goods and hazardous substances, alcohol and drug policies, personal protective equipment requirements, and information on obtaining work permits. Additionally, specific site hazards and emergency procedures should be clearly detailed, and site management procedures should be in place along with contractor management processes

Online inductions are a comprehensive, cost-effective, and efficient method to ensure contractor and employee safety, compliance, and competence. They streamline the induction process, ensure consistency, and can be accessed and completed at the convenience of the individual, leading to a safer, more secure workplace.