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Risk Management Quarterly Q&A: New Hire Safety Orientation

Question: Should SC Municipal Insurance Trust and SC Municipal Insurance and Risk Financing Fund members implement new-hire orientation programs?

Answer: All municipalities should implement new-hire orientation programs.

Newly hired employees and their supervisors should review a checklist of general safety and risk management topics, as well as job-specific tasks that require safety training. A form outlining completion of the orientation should be signed by the employee and supervisor and a copy should be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

Safety orientation is important for new hires because many workers’ compensation and liability claims occurring within the first three years of employment happen because of a lack of training. All employees should receive general safety training on topics such as emergency action plans, fire safety, proper lifting techniques, ergonomics and violence in the workplace. Job-specific training that should be presented can include defensive driving, bloodborne pathogens, fall protection, respiratory protection and work zone safety.

Loss control staff developed a safety and orientation sample checklist that is available to SCMIT and SCMIRF members.