Contractor Induction Training
By the late George Robotham
At one start-up operation I developed a comprehensive safety induction program lasting 2 days and put about 300 people through the training over about a year. I used to feel very proud that they left the training very switched on about safety. The reality was within a few days of hitting the workplace they realised that my safety world I had spoken about was not reality, the safety culture of the organisation did not support my training. The very clear message is anyone seeking to introduce learning programs must do learning needs analysis first (refer to the paper Safety Training Needs Analysis on my web-site ohschange.com.au)
The big question is how long do you spend on induction training? I have not got a good answer but suggest it is different for permanent employees and contractors. In these days of standardised industry induction programs a lot of people will have received a substantial safety needle prior to arriving on your site. The contractors go from site to site and sit through inductions at many sites. The last thing you need for these contractors is a protracted induction program that covers unnecessary old ground. For these people site specific arrangements may be enough.
Avoid lecture style presentations where possible and use interactive approaches (Refer to the paper Adult Learning Principles and Process on ohschange.com.au) You have to appreciate you may not have a very positive audience particularly with contractors.
At the end of the day nothing beats learning needs analysis.
One experienced OHS professional expressed the view that inductions for contractors should not last more than a few hours and be a way for organisations to be able to take action against breaches / non-compliance. You cannot discipline people unless there is very clear evidence they know the rules.