Site Induction

Are Online Site Inductions as Efficient as In-Person Inductions?

Last Updated on: 27th November 2023, 06:30 pm

Site inductions are an essential part of construction site safety and are a legal requirement on the part of construction companies everywhere.

However, while in-person inductions that take place on the first day of a new starter are the norm, online inductions offer the opportunity to gain valuable information from new starters ahead of time, among other advantages, to ensure they’re as up-to-speed as they need to be before they begin. But which is more efficient and beneficial to companies seeking to maximise productivity and complete projects in impressive time?

What is a site induction?

Much like an induction for a new job, a construction site induction is, traditionally, a meeting held with a new starter before their work begins. During this meeting, all essential safety standards are discussed, as well as any potential hazards they may run into during the job and how to avoid them. Usually, the new starter will also be introduced to other members of the team – specifically those they will be reporting to.

How online inductions differ from in-person inductions

They can be carried out ahead of time

Traditionally, site inductions take place before a new starter gets to work on their first day on-site. Given that this is likely the first time they’ve attended the site, it makes all the sense in the world. But it’s possibly not the best option for all involved.

When in-person site inductions are carried out on the first day, they can be a time-consuming process – which is understandable given just how much of an important safety requirement they are, how much information needs to be talked through in detail, and due to the fact they’re a legal requirement.

The new starter isn’t the only person whose time is being taken up, though. There is almost always more than one other member of staff present to carry out the induction on behalf of the company. In all likelihood, these staff members are having their other important tasks eaten into as a result of the in-person induction, potentially costing the project productivity.

However, in the digital age, companies now have the option to carry out official inductions online, well before the new worker begins.

Important reading materials, presentations, and even videos can be uploaded to a single, easy-to-use platform, for the worker to read through and view before they begin. These platforms can even be set up in such a way that a worker will have no choice but to sit through every piece of information and will not be allowed to proceed until they have done so, effectively guaranteeing they have onboarded the legally required details.

This doesn’t just offer the company peace of mind that a new starter is as prepared as possible before day one, but it also saves them time from having to produce a full-length induction when they arrive on-site. Rather, they only need to offer a shorter induction, with all other details having been covered in the online process.

Workers can have their knowledge put to the test

In a business as safety-critical as construction, it is essential to only hire those with the correct experience and qualifications, if accidents are to be prevented as much as possible.

But while workers may appear to have everything they need “on paper”, sometimes, it can be useful to take things a step further and truly put their knowledge to the test, to fully ensure they’re capable of performing specific tasks danger-free.

That’s why online inductions can come in handy – companies can upload questionnaires – or more intense tests – for workers to carry out before they arrive on-site for their first shift. The questions in these tests can be catered to the specific job at hand, guaranteeing a worker has the specific knowledge required to carry out their tasks effectively. As an extra safety precaution, this adds a level of efficiency to the induction process that isn’t present in all in-person inductions.

Documents can be offered to save paperwork on the first day

Collecting all the essential paperwork (qualifications, identity documents, etc.) from a new worker when they arrive on-site can be an awkward and arduous process for companies, especially if there are several new starters beginning on the same day.

This can create a mountain of filing and administrative duties that need to be handled before work begins. If collected when the new starter arrives on-site, this can cause a backlog and could potentially halt them from starting work promptly.

But as part of online site inductions, companies have the option to request such documents ahead of time, so the relevant checks and filing can happen long before the worker begins, allowing them to head straight into their role when they arrive.

Online inductions save time, boost productivity and offer peace of mind

Whether online inductions are “more efficient” than in-person inductions is still up for debate – but it can’t be denied that they offer a plethora of benefits that could be used to the advantage of companies everywhere. Plus, they can still be used alongside shorter in-person inductions, while cutting the amount of time taken for everyone involved.

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