Orientation and training provide employees with necessary safety information about their job and tasks. They learn about specific workplace hazards and can ask questions to clarify new or confusing information. It is also an opportunity to learn about the company and their colleagues.
In New Brunswick, all employers are required to provide new employees with orientation before they begin work at the workplace, as well as job specific training. The length of time required for orientation is not defined, as it depends on the workplace, and the specific job and tasks. Orientation 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 safe and successful at their job. Where applicable, it should be part of the workplace's overall health and safety program.
What is a “new employee”?
As an employer, you must ensure that:
WorkSafeNB has prepared a “Health and Safety Orientation Guide for Employers” to help employers develop and implement a successful orientation program.
While the employer is ultimately responsible for all the provisions mentioned above, the supervisor has a vital role to play in the safety of their teams. As a supervisor, you must:
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
S.N.B. 1983, c. O-0.2
DUTIES OF EMPLOYERS, OWNERS, CONTRACTORS, SUB-CONTRACTORS, SUPERVISORS, EMPLOYEES AND SUPPLIERS
8.1 (1) Every employer with 20 or more employees regularly employed in the Province shall establish a written health and safety program, in consultation with the committee or the health and safety representative, that includes provisions with respect to the following matters:
(a) the training and supervision of the employees in matters necessary to their health and safety;
(b) the preparation of written work procedures and codes of practice for the implementation of health and safety work practices, required by this Act, the regulations or by any order made in accordance with this Act;
(c) the identification of the types of work for which the work procedures are required at the places of employment of the employer;
(d) a hazard identification system that includes
(i) evaluation of the place of employment to identify potential hazards,
(ii) procedures and schedules for inspections, and
(iii) procedures for ensuring the reporting of hazards, prompt follow-up and control of the hazards;
(e) a system for the prompt investigation of hazardous occurrences to determine their causes and the actions needed to prevent recurrences;
(f) a record management system that includes reports of employee training, accident statistics, work procedures and health and safety inspections, maintenance, follow-up and investigations; and
(g) monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of the program.
(2) The employer shall review its health and safety program at least once each year, in consultation with the committee or the health and safety representative, and shall update the program as required.
(3) The employer shall make a copy of the program and all records available
(a) to the committee or the health and safety representative, and
(b) on request, to an employee at the place of employment or the Commission.
[S.N.B. 2013, c. 15, s. 3]
8.2 (1) For the purposes of this section, "new employee" means an employee who is
(a) new to a position or place of employment,
(b) returning to a position or place of employment in which the hazards have changed during the employee’s absence,
(c) under 25 years of age and returning to a position or place of employment after an absence of more than six months, or
(d) affected by a change in the hazards of a position or place of employment.
(2) The employer shall ensure that a new employee receives orientation and training specific to the new employee’s position and place of employment before the new employee begins work.
(3) Despite subsection (2), if the employer is satisfied, based on written documentation, that the new employee has satisfactory training from a previous employer or third party, the employer may provide orientation only.
(4) The orientation for a new employee shall include the following:
(a) the name and contact information of the new employee’s supervisor;
(b) the contact information of the committee or the health and safety representative;
(c) the new employee’s rights, liabilities and duties under this Act and the regulations, including reporting requirements and the right to refuse to perform an act under section 19; 3
(d) the health and safety procedures and codes of practice related to the new employee’s job tasks;
(e) the location of first aid facilities and how to obtain first aid;
(f) the procedures related to the reporting of illnesses and injuries;
(g) the procedures related to emergencies; and
(h) the use of personal protective equipment, if applicable.
(5) The employer shall keep records of the orientation and training of new employees for at least three years.
[S.N.B. 2013, c. 15, s. 3]