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.
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.