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Volunteer Induction is a Must

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Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the status of volunteers because they’re not always held in the same esteem as employees.

Some organisations elevate the status of volunteers, affording the special privileges in return for their service. Many other organisations don’t really take the status of volunteers seriously, because they don’t have all the rights and legal protections that employees have.

Whatever the case may be, it is not really healthy for the organisation to create any kind of division between employees and volunteers and, in fact, doing so can have detrimental results.

Volunteers really ought to be held to the same standards as regular employees. It is fine to reward volunteers when possible, because this provides encouragement and boosts morale. But when it comes to safety and security, there can be no exceptions.

The work site induction is literally the first frontier of safety and security for your organisation. If you create exemptions for volunteers, you put the safety and security of everyone at risk.

Why some organisations don’t require inductions for volunteers

One issue is that volunteers are not usually at the work site for an extended amount of time, so there can be a feeling that it is wasteful to require inductions for them. In a way, this is a gamble that no major incident will occur during the brief time they are on site.

There can also be a sense of not wanting to unduly inconvenience the volunteer who is already devoting their time and energy. Sentimental notions like this are problematic because the induction process provides valuable information.

Although the chance may be slim, incidents could occur at any time, and if any type of incident is to occur in the brief time the volunteer is on site, they will have some awareness of what to do.

Induction also helps to ensure that volunteers are aware of their responsibilities and any limits that may apply to them. Although most of the content of an induction may seem like simple common sense, we can’t rely on people possessing this attribute.

Using technology to eliminate the inconvenience factor

The unavoidable drawback to inductions is they take time. Technology does provide a benefit of placing control over the time and place the induction occurs in the hands of the inductee. Remote distributed induction software developed by LinkSafe allows inductions to be completed online with a smart phone or computer, anywhere and any time the inductee chooses.

This software solution also allows testing that the induction content has genuinely been completed and is understood by the inductee.

This provides a tremendous advantage over traditional induction methods, requiring less resources and creating fewer inconveniences for all involved.

It also demonstrates to the volunteer that they are important enough to you that you are providing an induction for them. This can create a stronger bond of loyalty between the volunteer and the organisation.

In addition, the volunteer gains important safety information, including situational awareness data that will aid in their tasks and help them get to safety if there is an emergency.

Above all, providing a proper induction can help reduce any potential liability you may have if an incident does occur. This is because the volunteer has sufficient information to possibly avoid being harmed, knows what to do if something happens, knows how to avoid doing something they should not do, and has acknowledged receipt of that information.

LinkSafe has solutions to help

LinkSafe is the premier service for site management solutions, including software required for managing distributed remote inductions. Find out more by contacting LinkSafe on 1300 558 102, or use our contact form to leave a message.

The Rise of Mobile Inductions

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We live in a high tech world these days, so it no longer makes sense to stick with old-fashioned induction methods. Conducting inductions on site and in person offers only one advantage, while using mobile induction offers many benefits, including:

  • Cost saving – you don’t need to host the induction on your premises, and in fact you can even claim back your old induction room and use it for another purpose.
  • More convenient – this works both to your advantage and the advantage of the contractor. You no longer need to welcome the contractor and supervise the induction, and the contractor can complete the induction from any location at any time that is convenient for them.
  • Track attendance – get instant confirmation of which contractors have attended the induction process.
  • Screen inductees – you can also test the inductee’s understanding of the content. This allows you to screen out contractors who don’t appear to have the appropriate aptitude for the job.
  • Fast feedback – you can also collect more general feedback from the contractors to work out how the induction process could be improved in the future.
  • Automatic logging – you can store all the induction data in a searchable relational database system to keep track of periodic inductions, lapsed inductions, and so on.
  • Easy reporting and compliance – you can instantly retrieve induction data for audits, investigations, Royal Commission inquiries, WorkCover, etc.

As can be seen from the above list, there are many potential advantages to mobile induction, and this why more and more industrial employers are switching over to using mobile induction systems.

Mobile induction methods allow everyone to get on with business

In the past, induction was a pain for both employers and contractors alike. People would have to take time away from their primary activities in order to attend induction, resulting in lost productivity, potential loss of earnings, and wasted time. Then there is the hassle of getting to the induction venue, finding the correct room at the venue, making sure to be on time, and so on.

Mobile induction does away with all these problems by enabling contractors to have some control over when and where the induction takes place. It can even be possible to pause and resume inductions, so contractors can deal with incoming calls or other interruptions without missing any of the induction content.

Because you’re able to instantly test the success or failure of the induction and only accept those contractors who pass the test, you can also help protect your business from potential liabilities that could arise when contractors claim they did not understand some part of the induction.

If they’re later involved in an incident that could give rise to liability, either as a victim or as an instigator, their irrefutable attestation of understanding the induction content should prove to be useful evidence in any subsequent litigation.

The same is also true if contractors engage in improper conduct, you have the proof that they should have been aware of the correct conduct through their acknowledgment of understanding the induction content.

It is clear that mobile induction is more convenient than traditional induction methods, and also offers greater protection for your business.

LinkSafe has solutions to help

LinkSafe is the premier service for contractor management solutions, including software required for managing induction, licensing, training, and site access. Find out more by contacting LinkSafe on 1300 558 102, or use our contact form to leave a message.

The Importance of Tracking Time and Attendance

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For industrial businesses that employ contractors on a project basis, there is probably no more important information than knowing who specifically is working in a particular area and when they are working there.

There are many positive benefits that result from implementation of an appropriate time and attendance tracking system. Some of these benefits include:

  • Better work site security. If the system is implemented properly, you will be aware of contractors being in the right place at the right time, and more importantly you’ll also know if they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • You will have more accurate information during an emergency. Imagine a scenario where workers become trapped or, for reasons of moral magnitude (heroism), they are unable to leave their posts. Accurate and easily accessed time and attendance information can greatly assist emergency services and rescue personnel. When combined with HR information, we can also be aware of any medical conditions which may affect the health and safety of trapped workers or visitors.
  • You will have awareness of contractors who are habitually absent or late. Occasional lateness or absences can be expected, and there could be many legitimate reasons for the occurrences that are not necessarily the fault of the contractor. When it occurs frequently enough to be classified as habitual, however, it can indicate a problem. Frequent absenteeism or tardiness will slow the completion of a project and could result in penalties or even loss of business.
  • More easily verify (or limit) overtime. A good system of time and attendance checking can let you know if overtime is accumulating, and whether it is justified. If you don’t have the budget for overtime or overtime is not necessary at your work site, you can even set up a system to automatically deny entry after allocated hours have been completed (for safety reasons, exit should never be automatically prevented).
  • Simplify your payroll process. With a properly configured time and attendance data system, payroll processing becomes virtually effortless, as you can automatically ensure people get paid the right amounts according to their contract conditions.

Knowledge is power, and there is no knowledge more important than knowing what is going on in your own business. Leaving everything up to the honesty of your individual workers can sometimes result in considerable surprises. It also adds extra (and unnecessary) steps to numerous processes that would be more efficiently handled by automation.

LinkSafe can help with all your contractor management needs

Every large business in Australia can benefit from the contractor management systems and services available from LinkSafe. We can provide you with expert consultants who can configure systems perfectly tailored for your individual work sites, to ensure maximum efficiency and lower total cost.

Compared to “flying blind”, using our systems – which have proved themselves effective with hundreds of big business clients throughout Australia – can potentially result in multi-million dollar savings over the medium to long term.

You gain better security, better business insight, better emergency management, and better accountability. Everything that can help you avoid losing money and help to ensure your productivity continues smoothly in almost every circumstance.

To find out more about how we can help your business, call LinkSafe on 1300 558 102. We have experts ready to talk with you and answer all your questions.

Why Visitors Should Complete the Induction Process

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Site inductions are not exciting experiences in the majority of cases, and most contractors wish they could avoid having to participate in them. Understandably, business owners can be reluctant to push such an experience onto site visitors, but there are some very good reasons why your visitors should not be an exception to the rule.

Inductions may not be necessary if visitors will be on site for only a short time and will be escorted personally for the entire duration of their visit. This can be difficult to predict, however. There could be situations where the person designated with responsibility for the visitor may be diverted, and there is the possibility of the visitors themselves not sticking to the plan. Depending on the jurisdiction, the leeway you have for not requiring induction for even short term and fully escorted visitors may be greatly reduced anyway.

Visitors could be categorized as working or non-working visitors. Working visitors obviously should always complete site inductions unless their presence is very short-term, limited to a single area that is not classified as a “work site”, and will be fully supervised. Non-working visitors are a bit more of a complex problem, especially since they often tend to be VIP types with little time or patience.

Induction makes everyone safer

The main reason why it’s necessary for visitors to complete safety inductions is because it will help to keep them safe. It also helps to protect you from liability for trouble that may occur during the visit.

Imagine a scenario where a visitor is injured as a result of their own actions. If they have not completed a safety induction, there is a gift wrapped excuse available to them that you did not warn them of the potential danger. You would probably have liability for their injuries in any case, but that’s not the worst that can happen. The much worse scenario is where the visitor causes harm to others, and most especially when they cause harm to the general public, as a result of their own actions.

Now there is an argument that any competent lawyer will use that if the visitor was properly supervised, it should then be impossible for them to perform the harmful action, and you therefore should be fully liable for the consequences.

You do at least get a fighting chance if there is evidence that the visitor had completed induction prior to the incident occurring. Some, or even all, of the liability (particularly if criminal charges are involved) may be transferred to the actual culprit.  This would be much less likely for visitors that had not completed induction.

Induction is mandatory in many parts of Australia

Recent updates to legislation may require all workers and visitors to a site to complete an induction process. This doesn’t apply to visitors or delivery persons who only visit the reception area of a business, but anyone accessing an area that could be classified as a “work site” would need to complete the induction.

Induction helps you better manage site security

It’s an under-represented factor, but an important one. Induction gives you a verifiable record of attendance, and makes it easier for you to know who has been on the work site, where they went, when, and who with. If there is a security breach, especially one that involves industrial espionage or sabotage, investigating it will be much simpler when you have access to all the relevant information.

Managing the induction process is easier than ever now

Now that most induction training can be completed online and prior to ever showing up at the work site, it’s a much simpler process to provide the induction material, and you can offer a more diverse range of induction materials in more formats. You can also use contractor management software systems such as LinkSafe (1300 558 102) to monitor, record, and audit induction completion.

Because it is so simple, and because it can be done from virtually anywhere, there really isn’t any good reason to not require visitors to complete the induction process. That’s not even taking into account that it’s almost certainly a legal requirement in the area your work site is located.

Induction protects you, your visitors, your employees, and the general public, so it is worth providing and making sure it is completed by everyone who needs to complete it.