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.