As H&S Manager for a large cereal foods manufacturer, my remit was to improve health and safety management. There was a small central health and safety function comprising myself and two safety advisers. Contractor inductions were carried out daily and took up 2-3 hours of an adviser’s day, every day and in addition, employee inductions – which were 1.5 days duration – were carried out at least monthly, sometimes several times a month.
In a desperate need to release practitioner resource to support the business units, I worked with the EssentialSkillz team to develop electronic inductions for both contractors and employees. I wrote the copy relating to health and safety policies and procedures etc. and provided company-specific images where needed and EssentialSkillz transformed this into two highly-attractive, bespoke induction packages. The process was protracted only because extensive consultation was required at my end as the Company took the opportunity to review the content of its inductions and many of its health and safety rules and arrangements.
Several of the problems experienced during the years of classroom power-point presentations, more or less disappeared with the introduction of electronic inductions. Most notably, the Company’s policy that contractor authorisations have to be renewed annually – which included contractor employees being re-inducted – could be achieved without the difficulty of having to persuade contractors to pull their men off other work simply to attend an induction. Contractors could now be inducted from any pc on the planet at a time to suit themselves and their employer. Safeguards had to be implemented of course – and some of these were built into the Learning Management System – but the benefits were obvious and significant.
With regard to new employees, it provides an incredibly powerful first-impression if the very first thing the new recruit does – more or less the first thing after taking their coat off – is a high quality health and safety induction. And new-starters can be enrolled easily by the training coordinators in the business units meaning that the central function had no role in health and safety inductions beyond auditing.
Electronic inductions for employees and contractors were pivotal in the transformation of the central health and safety team from a predominantly training function to a valuable practitioner resource. So successful were they that the Company’s North American operations snapped up the idea at first sighting.
Securus Health & Safety Limited http://www.securushealthandsafety.co.uk/