Health and safety orientation training is a fundamental component of any organization’s health and safety management system. It is the process of introducing new, inexperienced, transferred and/or returning employees to a safe and healthy workplace. Orientation training provides employees with necessary safety information about their job and tasks, informs them of specific details about workplace hazards, and provides an opportunity to learn about the organization and their colleagues and to ask questions to clarify new or confusing information.

Benefits of Conducting a Safety Orientation for New Employees
  • Employees become aware of the health and safety hazards on the job, controls for these hazards and how they can affect their safety and the safety of others.
  • Helps reduce the risk of potential injuries and accidents.
  • Meets regulatory requirements (demonstrates due diligence).
  • Increases competence of the new employee.
  • Contributes to building a retention culture within the organization, thereby reducing turnover.
  • Demonstrates the organization’s ethical obligation to protect the employee from harm.
The two questions asked most often about safety orientation are: “How long should orientation take?” and “What should I cover during the orientation session(s)?” The length of time required for orientation training cannot be defined, as it will depend on the workplace and the specific job and tasks. Orientation training should not consist of a whirlwind of checklists and safety manuals handed to the new employee, but rather needs to be practical and hands on, and should focus on the skills the employee must develop to be successful at his/her job. Download Five Components of Effective Safety Orientation (PDF).