The induction process in any role is an integral part of onboarding, both for the employee and the business. A solid induction enables a quicker understanding of the workplace, ensures new starters feel comfortable and can help reduce absenteeism.

Training and inducting new starters in any workplace can be difficult, but warehouse environments pose extra risks and hazards.

There are many unique challenges of this workspace including: busy, loud and tightly packed spaces; moving vehicles; working from heights; falling objects and manual handling. Risks from these factors can be very high and there are five injuries per day from forklift truck accidents alone.

So, considering these risks, where should you begin when inducting new starters?

Give a walking tour

Familiarising the employee with the warehouse can be a good way to introduce the different dangers and elements in the environment. Following this up with more detailed and formal training will ensure the hazards are fully explained and understood.

A tour of the environment also helps the new starter feel welcome and part of the company. Plus, meeting colleagues allows for any questions the employee may have and vice versa.

Provide workwear and PPE

Ideally given at the same time as the induction, receiving new work safety equipment such as a hi-vis vest, hard hat or gloves will help the new starter feel part of the team. It will also show the employee that their safety is paramount to the business operating smoothly.

In turn this will help boost commitment and ensure they feel as though they fit in.

Provide an induction pack and risk assessment

With a new starter being given so much information on the induction, it’s a good idea to back it all up with an induction pack. You could also include the company’s risk assessment in the pack as well as in the more formal training.

It’s also useful to add in here any useful or important information such as where fire exits are located, facilities, toilets and contact numbers.

Outline the training scheme

It can be daunting for new employees if they feel as though they don’t know what they’re doing next. Providing a timeline for their training and the first working day can help set goals and expectations.

Giving the new starter plenty of opportunities for any questions or uncertainties will help them feel comfortable. This should also minimise any potential risks posed by the environment and help keep the business and employee safe.

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