What should be considered for effective inductions?

On 31 March 2022, the Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws replaced the health and safety elements of the Mines Safety and Inspection laws. For information visit www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/whs

All health and safety notifications, forms and guidance for mining and petroleum has moved to the WorkSafe website

What are inductions?

Research on mining fatalities has shown that those working in a new job or at a new site are most vulnerable in the first year.

Fatal accidents in the Western Australian mining industry 2000-2012 report - 2552 Kb

This report examines the fatal mining accidents that occurred in Western Australia over the 13-year period from 2000 to 2012, inclusive.

Inductions are an important information session that helps to familiarise people with the locations, equipment, materials, processes and tasks they may encounter while working at or visiting a site for the first time.

To achieve the best results, inductions need to be tailored and targeted. They should accommodate all workers (i.e. employees, contractors, trainees).

The topics covered typically include:

  • hazards and associated risks
  • safe work procedures and practices
  • communication protocols
  • emergency procedures.

Workers may require a refresher if:

  • they have been absent for some time
  • there have been site changes (e.g. modified traffic system)
  • the work environment is different to that normally encountered (e.g. switching to night shift for first time).

Site inductions

Site inductions should ensure workers receive appropriate safety information and, before commencing work, can recognise the hazards on site that can harm them. Workers should also understand the control measures in place to protect them from those hazards.

Induction requirements should be determined using information sourced from:

  • legislative requirements
  • site-specific competency and training needs analysis
  • risk management processes
  • relevant training packages
  • changes to site (e.g. change in traffic management)
  • safety and health management system
  • standards applicable to site.

All site inductions should contain an assessment to ensure the required knowledge has been retained by worker. It is important to review the site’s induction regularly to determine if the content is still relevant.

Site inductions should comprise a formal program that provides workers with an understanding of:

  • site layout including emergency muster points
  • emergency contact numbers and emergency procedures
  • the duty-of-care obligations of employers and employees
  • common hazards and risks on the site and their control measures
  • basic risk management principles and tools used on site
  • reporting processes including hazards, incidents, injuries and faults
  • the standard of behavior expected of workers on mine sites
  • communication and reporting procedures
  • the roles and function of safety and health representatives and the safety and health committee.

Inductions should be completed by those who work at a mine, including site managers and supervisors, employees, self-employed persons and contractors.

Further information: When deciding how to present the induction, also consider the literacy levels, cognitive load ( and perceived relevance of the subject (which determines interest). Providing pages of text that is too legalistic or technical, then asking inductees to read it and sign off as having understood the content, is unlikely to achieve the aims of the induction, which is to prepare people for the workplace.

Overloading the site induction with other training or information that should stand alone may be counterproductive and prevent workers from retaining important safety information.

Area-specific inductions

Area-specific inductions are conducted to inform the worker of specific hazards they may encounter in their work area, and the controls that should be in place before starting tasks.

Items to cover in an area-specific induction can include:

  • layout of work area or plant
  • emergency muster points and evacuation procedures
  • personal protective equipment and facilities
  • first aid facilities
  • firefighting equipment for the area
  • ablution block and crib facilities
  • area hazards and controls.

Visitor inductions

Visitor inductions are conducted to inform visitors about what is expected of them while on site. The induction may include limitations and the rules for tasks being performed, and requirements for a site escort.

Visitor inductions should also describe the procedure in the event of emergency and the location of evacuation points.