When it comes to the summer holidays companies often need to look for temporary employees to cover staff on holiday. The employee is likely to be inexperienced, it could even be their first job. This brings new risks to the workplace and increases the chances of an accident.
When recruiting temporary staff you need to consider more than your needs to fill the hours and their ability to do the tasks.
What are the risks?
Every Organisation has a duty of care to all their staff, not just regular employees. Although temporary staff don’t have extra rights they are likely to need extra support to ensure they don’t put themselves or other members of staff at additional risk.
The risks, because of temporary staff, tend to split into two opposing groups; Inexperience to the role and business and then over exuberance, to get stuck in to prove themselves.
The risks and their probability increase because staff just don’t know any better.
The more experienced your staff are it makes it more difficult to spot the simple things that could go wrong. “I just assumed”, “that will be obvious” and “it’s never happened before” can be dangerous… and you will be responsible if it goes wrong.
You need to be particularly aware of temporary staff working on their own. This may be perfectly normal safe practise but inexperienced temporary staff are much more at risk and vulnerable, especially if having to deal with the public.
Even the most experienced employees make mistakes … The BBC reported on the Cleaner that was stuck in a lift for two days! Margate cleaner trapped in lift for two days. This just shows that simple things can quickly escalate if the correct procedures aren’t followed by staff and the organisation doesn’t have processes to ensure all is OK.
How can we reduce the risks?
The best way to reduce risks is regular leadership, a full induction process and the opportunity to shadow or even always work with more experienced staff…. But in the real world that’s not always possible.
So it’s good to break things down … keep it simple.
Try to develop a different “Temporary” staff induction process that specifically highlights some simpler things and more “obvious” risks. Simplify the ethics and expectations you have. Be very specific about potential risks and how they are avoided.
Carefully consider the member of staff that carries out any induction and helps temporary staff to “learn the ropes”. You want someone that is considerate to people that are less experienced to them but also isn’t necessarily the quickest but the most consistent at doing the job exactly as it should be done, safely, not cutting any corners.
Even think about carrying out a separate Risk Assessment, specifically taking into account inexperienced / temporary staff, that may not be fully trained.
Make sure that the employee understands how the risk assessment works. This will help the employee understand the potential risks of the job, as seen through the experts eye.
Ask the employee if they have questions before starting the job. Make sure they know who to talk to if they have any concerns. This is very important to build a good working relationship and ensure staff don’t unintentionally put themselves at greater risk.
Quickly protect staff that work alone?
Especially over the holiday times staffing levels might be different it’s also more likely that staff could be left on their own, even for short periods of time.
It only takes 15 minutes to protect your staff and your business.
MyTeamSafe is a simple, cost-effective safety app that can help protect employees and businesses.
How can it protect employees?
Once set up, users run the app and simply check-in at the agreed intervals, say every hour. If they don’t check-in on-time then their boss/buddy/supervisor is informed by text or email with the user’s details, including the last location. They can then decide what to do next…. As they know the lone worker and what they are doing.
How can it protect the business?
By having a simple, cost-effective, automated set and forget Lone Worker safety system you can quickly cover your legal duty of care obligations by having a defined system and procedure to deal with lone working staff. You also reassure staff you have their wellbeing in mind.
Minor incidents can be solved quickly and effectively and don’t turn into costly ones.
Don’t leave staff all alone, especially when it’s really hot…. sign up for a free trial today.
To protect 15 staff costs just £450 a year … Compare that the cost of lost working days, HR meetings or even legal proceedings.
Take a look at our Demo Video showing you MyTeamSafe in action.