New to the job: health and safety

Workers are as likely to have an accident in their first 6 months at work as during the whole of the rest of their working life.

This increased risk is because of:

This means workers new to a workplace may:

6 steps to protect new starters

1. Capability

Assess the new starter's capabilities. This might include:

Don't forget to assess cultural issues and grasp of English where relevant - you may need to use visual, non-verbal methods like pictures, signs or videos.

2. Induction

Provide an induction. Plan it carefully, including photos of hazards where possible, and use plain, simple language.

Take time to walk around the workplace or site with new workers and show them where the main hazards are, like falls and slips.

3. Control measures

Make sure control measures to protect against risk are up to date. Check they are being properly used and maintained by:

4. Information

Provide relevant information, instruction and training about the risks new workers may be exposed to and the precautions they will need to take to avoid them.

5. Supervision

Provide adequate supervision. Make sure workers know how to raise concerns. Supervisors should be aware that workers may find it difficult to raise concerns because of unfamiliarity and inexperience.

6. Check understanding

Check workers have understood the information, instruction and training they need to work safely, and are acting on it. This is important during the vital first days and weeks at work.

Make sure workers know:

Vulnerable workers

Young people

Young people may lack the experience and maturity of their colleagues. You need to consider the risk to young people at work.

Migrant workers

Migrant workers are another group that may be particularly at risk when starting work. Advice for employers of migrant workers.

Updated 2022-07-27