New Employees and Health & Safety (H&S)

The term "new employee" can include, but is not exclusive to, the following: full or part-time workers, students, trainees, employees who have changed jobs within the organization, contractors, sub-contractors, visitors, and volunteers.

The following is designed to provide you, as an employer or trainer, with a checklist to ensure that all new employees are provided with the necessary information when starting a new job, project, or task.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act,

"employee" means "(a) a person employed at a place of employment, or (b) a person at a place of employment for any purpose in connection there-with" and a "place of employment" means "any building, structure, premises, water or land where work is carried on by one or more employees, and includes a project site and a mine".

Workplace Health and Safety Legislative Requirements

Make sure you know the laws you need to consider to fulfil your occupational health and safety obligations when there is a new employee at your workplace. Get copies of the:


         Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission Act (WHSCC Act)

         Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act)

         Workers' Compensation Act (WC Act)

Ensure that you know the definition of employees under the OHS Act.

Understand the definition of a place of employment under the OHS Act.

Know your duty of care for


  • Employees/students/trainees
  • Contractors
  • Visitors/volunteers
  • Others

Ensure that you have up-to-date employees Health & Safety (H&S) and compensation policies.

Safety in the Place of Employment (Workplace)

Ensure that the workplace/worksite that you are placing someone in is safe.

Ensure that H&S procedures are in place to deal with:


  • Hazards, accidents/incidents, emergencies, and security procedures
  • The rights and responsibilities of all parties in regards to H&S
  • Training and supervision.

The Job

Gather enough information to be able to choose the right person for the job.

Provide a written job description that outlines the key job requirements and the core tasks that need to be carried out.

Be clear about the tasks that the new employee is required to do and competencies it requires.

Set up a process to assess employees competencies at selection, induction and on an ongoing basis.

Determine who is responsible for ongoing assessment and how it will be carried out.

Consider what additional competencies will need to be developed.

Consider H&S issues and include them as part of the contract specification, tender, and contract management stages of contracts organized.

Workforce Awareness

Ensure that all other employees are aware that there is a new employee on site.

Make others on site aware of their roles and responsibilities in relation to the new employee.

Consider whether to appoint a "buddy" for the new employee.

Identify who will supervise the new employee, for how long, and whether the supervisor has the competencies to carry out this task.

The Health and Safety Orientation Process

Consider the following points as part of the H&S orientation for all new employees. They will help you begin to focus on the areas that you need to address.


  • H&S policies and procedures.
  • The roles and responsibilities of all personnel in the workplace with regard to H&S legislation.
  • The organizations stated commitment to H&S.
  • The systems in place to ensure employee involvement and consultation in H&S, including a system for resolving H&S issues.
  • The hazards or risks involved on the job and at the worksite, and how the organization has identified, assessed, controlled, and reviewed these hazards.
  • The precautions, procedures, and protective equipment required on the job, why they are required, and information on how equipment is used and maintained.
  • Systems of work: these include permits to work, out of service tag and lockout of equipment, maintenance, repair, and alteration to the plant or equipment.
  • The correct way to move materials and equipment (manual handling).
  • How to purchase, transport, store, handle, and dispose of dangerous goods and hazardous substances.
  • The new employees role in hazard/accident identification assessment control and review.
  • The new employees role in an emergency situation.
  • The name and location of the H&S representative and/or details about the Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC).


Ensure that the employee knows who to talk to if there is a problem.

Ensure that the lines of authority within the organization are clear.

Ensure that the employee knows who they are directly responsible to and for.


Make sure you organize a review to consider:


  • If the orientation to the workplace has been completed.
  • The need to continue with the same level of supervision (buddy system, frequent dialogue, education/training requirements).
  • Whether future new workers can be handled differently to achieve improvement.
  • What ongoing programs need to be considered for the new worker.


WorkSafeNB Occupational Health Section: 07/99