How To Create And Run An Effective Safety Orientation

Posted 8.09.22 by:

Health and safety orientation effectiveness is determined by how much information you can convey to team members in a way that they retain the data. Ineffective safety orientations poorly convey critical safety information to a team, increasing the chance of an incident.

Creating and running effective safety orientations is necessary to reduce the chance of incidents. To generalize, an effective safety orientation will:

  1. Deliver a message of safety to your team
  2. Captivate the team, so they absorb as much information as possible
  3. Train your team on the safety practices required within your organization

It’s a little bit more complicated than just these three items, so we’ve created this guide to help walk you through making the best, most effective safety orientation possible.

The Health and Safety Orientation Defined

The Health and Safety Orientation Defined at

A health and safety orientation is a presentation where an organization introduces and conveys safety information to team members. This information you share must define your organization’s internal safety culture, practices, and expectations. 

Given the fact that the Health and Safety Orientation typically presents as the first internal training for team members, it will set a precedent on several topics, including:

  1. Company culture of safety – Your new members will get an initial impression of your safety culture by bearing witness to the safety orientation.
  2. Managerial perspective – New team members will understand how managers view team member safety. 
  3. Level of professionalism – Those present for the orientation will get a sense of the organization’s level of professionalism by how the orientation appears.
  4. Team member expectations – The health and safety orientation should define the organization’s expectations for team members.

Due to the precedent that the health and safety orientation defines, it is critical for you to express your health and safety program as a presentation of these various elements of company safety policies.

When you define the health and safety orientation as a multi-tiered presentation of various elements, you will change how you present the information through association. This act helps to better understand how team members perceive the orientation and the topics it offers.

Benefits of a Robust and Effective Safety Orientation

Benefits of a Robust and Effective Safety Orientation explained at

It’s essential not to get hung up on the time safety orientations take – either to plan and create or to deliver. There will be costs associated with the event, typically labor, and the creation process can take considerable time away from your health and safety management team.

It’s vital to remember an old saying: ‘Rome wasn’t built in one day.’. True, we don’t want to build a safety orientation quite to that grand scale, but the moral applies nonetheless. Keeping in mind that the Health and Safety Orientation is a presentation of various topics with set goals of conveying information for teammates to retain, taking the time to set things up properly will pay dividends in how effective your presentation is.

An effective presentation will have several benefits for both your team members and the organization. Let’s look at a few to inspire you in your creative process.

For Your Team

Safety. Do we need any other benefits? Safety is the primary reason why we create and run safety orientations in the first place. Or rather, it should be the primary motivator (if it isn’t, try to re-evaluate your organization’s priorities).

The name of the game when it comes to safety is that your team member can go home at the end of the day uninjured. It is the highest benefit possible from an effective health and safety orientation.

For Your Business

Liability and cost are the two primary motivators behind why you need to have an effective safety orientation. Liability for your organization may also mean your liability as a manager.

All human feelings aside, we must look at costs if we talk about all the benefits. Economic impacts from injuries at work really add up. According to the National Safety Council, the cost per death at work is approximately $1,310,000.00. That cost includes loss of wages and all associated expenses. A business could be on the hook for at least the average total amount or even more if a company is found liable. Fines for negligent employers are not generally light and are, in fact, usually pretty heavy-handed. 

Managers found negligent at work may face severe fines and even imprisonment if someone is seriously injured or killed. It isn’t just the company owners typically found at fault.

Critical: The Planning Stage of the Safety Orientation

The Planning Stage of the Safety Orientation explained at

Planning your safety orientation is the best way to ensure an effective presentation. It may seem a daunting task, but we’ve got you covered, so don’t worry. Our method of planning the safety orientation makes the job easier, so let’s dive in.

Viewing Each Stage as a Module

One of the worst things you can do is look at the safety orientation entirely with the perspective that it is a large and scary project. Sure, it won’t be easy and will take some time, but if we break down the presentation into sections or modules, as we like to call them, then it isn’t nearly as daunting of a task.

Choosing Modules

When we look at a safety orientation as a presentation of smaller modules, we can list modules to include and build out each module to form the collective presentation. 

To choose the modules you need and want to include, you need to review the core elements of safety, your organization’s priorities and goals, and any topics that cover safety practices and procedures. Let’s start by looking at the core safety elements to incorporate into your presentation.

Core Elements of Safety To Include

Hardhats are a vital part of PPE. Find out more about PPE and introduce it to your safety orientation at

Incorporating the core safety elements into your organization’s health and safety orientation is critical for effectively training new team members. Even veteran team members can use a refresher, so let’s look.

A Safe Working Culture

There are two primary aspects of a safe working culture that you need to consider when developing your safety presentation: leadership and empowerment.

Leadership – Organizational Buy-In

Promoting good leadership within your organization does two things. First, you lead by example, which shows strong leadership values regarding safety. Second, you inspire organizational buy-in by showing team members that managers are not above following the rules.

Many organizations have a problem with managers following a ‘do as I say, not as I do attitude. I can’t tell you how often I’ve walked through a dangerous work environment and witnessed team members covered head to toe in PPE while managers stroll around in their office loafers.

What message do you think managers give when bypassing safety rules in front of their team members? Not a good one, I can tell you that!

Team Member Empowerment

Team members who feel empowered within their work environments are more likely to increase safety, productivity, and company morale. According to a Gallup survey from 2018, companies with high team member engagement have an average of 21% higher profitability. That’s a vast amount of money just for having an engaged and empowered workforce. Imagine what it could do for your organization.

Team Member Training

Training is at the heart of any organization’s safety program. Your safety orientation must include several training topics, from general company safety to specifics for the roles and responsibilities of team members.

A Hazard Identification and Risk Management System

GHS hazard symbols. Include these in your safety meeting with the guidance of
GHS Hazard Symbols

Every organization needs to have a hazard identification and risk management system in place. Global systems like GHS (Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication), adopted by the United Nations in 2009, are fundamental to international compliance.

In the USA – OSHA – Foundation of Workplace Chemical Safety Programs

In Canada – WHMIS – Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

The US, Canada, and other countries of the United Nations all typically follow international GHS standards for labeling chemicals in the workplace. It is a vital component of identifying workplace hazards, so including the GHS label as a topic of part of your modules is a wise idea for training new team members.

YourYour organization should also implement a risk management system whereby you train team members to perform risk assessments as a part of their everyday operations. Organizing a risk assessment protocol will make team members more inclined to have buy-in regarding company safety topics and situations. Try having a drop box where staff can leave anonymous comments and concerns regarding safety. You may find that you get more risk assessments when people aren’t afraid of retribution.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory Compliance is explained at for use in an effective safety orientation.

Including regulatory compliance within your company’s health and safety orientation is another intelligent inclusion. The last thing you want to deal with (aside from an actual incident) is a failure to comply with legal and regulatory laws and provisions. Fines for companies that break safety regulations are often quite large, so avoiding fines by way of compliance is the best option.

Continuous Improvement

Including a learning culture in your presentation is critical in an evolving organization. As organizations grow, so do the hazards to team members. Therefore, instigating a continuous improvement mentality within your safety culture is critical as your organization grows and matures.

Recommended Modules to Include

We’ve touched on breaking down a more significant problem into smaller pieces or modules, as I like to call them. Several modules would be in your best interest to include in your health and safety orientation. These recommended modules are as follows.

  • General Safety Rules and Regulations
  • Team Member Rights and Responsibilities
  • Fundamental Health and Safety Practices
  • Emergency Situation Procedures
  • Dress Code Standards and Hygiene
  • Work Hazards Identification and Prevention
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Incident Reporting Practices

Let’s do a brief walkthrough of each of these recommended modules to help you in their creation within your effective safety orientation plans.

General Safety Rules and Regulations

Safety regulations for your safety orientation are explained at

Starting your presentation with the organization’s general rules and regulations is an excellent way to warm your audience to more complicated topics. Covering the general safety issues can help because you can add engagement elements to the content. 

How to get your team engaged on general or boring rules? I’ve found an effective way to deliver general rules and regulations is to add a little humor to an otherwise potentially dull subject. For example, if you’re listing off several rules that one would consider mere plain sense but that you feel compelled to deliver, you can add a joke item within your list, such as tying your shoes before walking. 

Slipping in common sense and near nonsensical items within a boring list is one way you can elicit some laughs from your audience. Sneaking in an odd thing into a list also drives engagement because your audience will listen more intently, hoping to catch the next item snuck into the list for a laugh. Remember to bring things back to a severe nature when dealing with serious hazard topics.

Team Member Rights and Responsibilities

Including team members’ rights and responsibilities early within the presentation is a way you can drive home the concept of personal responsibility. When you reiterate a team member’s right to refuse dangerous work, their right to be informed and bring up safety concerns without fear of retribution are all empowering practices.

Ending the module with the team member’s safety responsibilities will drive home buy-in. It drives buy-in because the team member will feel the responsibilities are the cost of the rights you just informed them of prior.

Fundamental Health and Safety Practices

Fundamental health and safety practices reviewed for safety orientations at

You’ve already reviewed the general rules and regulations, but now you need to include a module that delivers the company’s fundamental health and safety practices in your orientation. Similarly, you should include the health and safety practices for the particular roles your team member will aspire to perform. Sometimes these specifics should find their way into a separate, more specialized role training. However, you will need to make this determination on a case-by-case basis.

Emergency Situation Procedures

One of the most crucial modules of the health and safety orientation is conveying emergency procedures. Suppose you’re going to provide a coffee break within your presentation. Doing so just before this module is wise. You need the whole and unadulterated concentration of your team for this module.

Your facility’s industry and business operations will determine the emergencies typically encountered. However, no matter the industry, you must include a fire escape plan and procedure within your orientation. 

In the US, there are approximately 52 workplace fires every day. In fact, in 2019, there were nearly 19,000 total workplace fires. These fires resulted in over $744 million in property damage and countless injuries. (source)

Another emergency you should include is workplace injury due to slip/fall. In 2022, the HSE (United Kingdom) reported that 29 workers lost their lives to falling from a height at work.

Falls, slips, and trips continue to be the leading cause of injury at work, whether in the UK, USA, Canada, or other developed nations. Including an emergency procedure for injuries is critical in your workplace safety training program and, therefore, should find a home within a module of your health and safety orientation.

Dress Code Standards and Hygiene

To lighten the mood from the more severe emergency situation procedures, we recommend you next cover a topic where you could add a little humor again. Presenting your organization’s expectations for dress code and personal hygiene are often topics we can find a way to slip in a joke. Humor is one of the best ways to engage an audience, so even a ‘grampa joke’ slipped into the mix, if done tastefully, can vastly improve your team’s buy-in to your orientation presentation.

Work Hazards Identification and Prevention

As mentioned earlier, including how your organization identifies and attempts to prevent hazards is critical to include in your safety orientation. This inclusion might consist of a handout regarding general GHS chemical identification. 

If your organization utilizes various dangerous chemicals, it isn’t a bad idea to include preventive spill clean-up procedures alongside the chemical hazard identification information.

Further to chemical hazards, you should consider the roles and responsibilities of each team member. For example, teaching field technicians to perform a Site Condition Inspection before starting work can help prevent incidents.

Personal Protective Equipment

PPE should be included in the safety orientation. Find out more at

In any workplace that isn’t a padded room, you’ll need to train your team on the proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

PPE is vital for many workplace roles. Field technicians and those working at remote job locations like remote construction sites may require extra training to ensure they meet safety requirements.

Fall protection equipment is probably the most essential PPE to train and re-train staff. According to the OSHA, the number one cited standard companies face most is relating to Fall Protection. In particular, the construction industry is particularly vulnerable to landing in hot water over the use of proper fall protection PPE. 

Incident Reporting Practices

One of the last modules we recommend you include in your health and safety orientation is training your team on the required incident reporting practices and procedures. These requirements should coincide with both company and legislative requirements.

You can use one or a combination of several methodologies to report incidents within your organization and facilities. Many companies utilize paper-printed templates like those we offer for download in our vast template library. However, printing incident report forms can take a lot of time to design and money for paper, printers, ink, and labor to complete, file, and retrieve for review. 

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with the 1st Reporting app. Still, we’ll talk more about that in the following section, which details some of the best tools you can use for your safety orientation creation, delivery, and safety program reporting.

Tools For Great Safety Orientations

By now, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you’ll need to do to plan and create your health and safety orientation. Let’s look at some of the best tools you can use to form and make your plan and presentation.

Planning Tools and Information Delivery

I’m a big fan of collaboration and tools to speed up my tasks. With all this remarkable technology, you know that there are some great tools to help you manage your health and safety department, including developing and presenting safety orientations and presentations.

Planning and Development Tools

Google Docs continues to be a favorite tool for planning. It’s a basic text editor with great functionality for sharing documents.

Google Drive is another favorite tool for storing documents. Although it’s best to use in the office to maintain cloud-based document storage and management system, it also works on mobile android devices, so sharing documents within the drive is not out of the question for your field crews.

Presentation Delivery

Google Slides is one of the favorites for presenting safety orientations. The program works seamlessly with Google Drive and Google Docs, so developing the safety orientation in docs and slides goes hand-in-hand. You can easily set up slides with a simple click/drop builder. Several preset templates also make the design stage even more straightforward.

Field Safety Document Delivery 

1st Reporting is the app we’ve created to help you own the reporting and management process regarding form submission from incidents, inspections, and other events. The software is a cloud-based reporting and reports management solution that your field teams can use to document everything from daily vehicle inspections to workplace injuries. Similarly, the platform has a robust management dashboard where you can upload documents your team can read in the field. This feature is ideal for organizations with teams moving and working in various locations. 

You can easily upload safety documents and training materials to the app, where your field teams can access the documents on their phones, tablets, or laptops. Of course, you can access and manage the app on your mobile, but it also works perfectly on desktop devices to manage your field teams from the comfort of your office.

Communication, Reporting, and Management Tools

Microsoft Teams® is one of the industries heavyweights regarding team communication and management. The platform is an industry-leading communications service offering easy ways for your team to communicate, collaborate, meet, and share files, documents, and information. There are even several applications that work seamlessly with the Teams® environment. These applications, like 1st Reporting, can speed up your entire reporting and documentation process. 

1st Reporting – An app for field reporting and management.

1st Reporting is a complete field reporting and management tool. You can easily manage your field crews and even see the GPS locations of the reports they complete – right in the map view on your management dashboard. That means you can easily track and manage report creation in the field from the comfort of your office.

Crews will never miss completing reports again with our intuitive, customizable form builder that lets you create dynamic forms that adjust based on user input. But that isn’t the only or the best feature of the robust reporting platform, 1st Reporting. Let’s take a look at how it’s going to make your job easier than ever.

How 1st Reporting Drives Value For Safety Professionals

I could list off the reasons why you should use 1st. I could go into detail about how the features provide benefits that make using paper forms look like a joke. However, I’m going to forgo the usual and provide you with some real insight into some of the features. I trust you can judge the extreme value for yourself.

Dynamic and Customizable Forms for Evolving Workflows

With 1st Reporting, you can create dynamic forms that change based on user input. This feature can help you to direct team members with a dynamic workflow using dynamic checklists.

Automated Targeted Communications

You can easily set up notifications so that when someone completes a specific report, the app sends a notification to your specified parties. Imagine a supervisor getting a notification to inform them that a field member has completed an inspection at a remote site—all without the need for the team member to call in and inform the manager. Communication made easy the 1st Reporting way.

GPS Report Functionality

In your manager’s report dashboard, you can change the view to show a map view that will let you see the GPS locations of the reports in your system. Add a few filters, and you can efficiently hone in on specific team members’ reports or report types.

Offline Mode

No need to worry about a remote work site not having an internet connection. When your field teams complete a report out of signal range, the app will automatically store the data locally on the team member’s device for upload once a signal is acquired.

Secure Cloud Storage Solutions

Maintaining document security is of the utmost importance. That’s why the 1st Reporting app is maintained on an industry-leading and secure cloud server to ensure your encrypted data is kept safe from prying eyes. Similarly, you can assign user roles within the app to ensure your team sees what you want them to see and not what you don’t.

Report Generation

Have you ever had to comb through months or even years’ worth of reports to search for trends? It’s a tedious process I don’t wish on anyone. With modern technology, you don’t have to do the sifting any further. The 1st Reporting app can generate automatic reports based on your chosen parameters. This feature makes finding trends and doing report analysis a breeze. 


Creating and presenting health and safety orientations is vital to any organization’s robust health and safety program. With the information in this guide, you should have no difficulty planning and creating your modules to form your safety orientation presentation.

Using tools to help you plan, create, and present your safety orientation is smart to make your job easier and more efficient. Our favorite tool we think you’ll benefit from implementing in your health and safety program is the 1st Reporting app.

The 1st Reporting app is a complete field reporting and management tool that you can use to speed up the entire reporting and documentation process. With dynamic forms that change based on user input, GPS report functionality, and offline mode, the 1st Reporting app can help safety professionals manage their field crews more effectively and quickly track and manage report creation. Additionally, the app can generate automatic reports based on user-specified parameters, making trend analysis much more straightforward.

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Join the globally-recognized brands that trust 1st Reporting to safeguard their organizations.

Join the globally-recognized brands that trust 1st Reporting to safeguard their organizations!