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29.1 Introduction to inductions

This section offers guidance for persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) on how to use worker inductions to promote good health and safety practices at road and roadside worksites.

Inductions are a useful way to introduce workers and visitors to key information and resources they need to keep themselves and other workers safe and healthy while at work.

This information can be shared at an initial induction when a worker joins a project or workplace. It can also be shared at daily briefings such as toolbox or tailgate talks.

Keep a record of workers who have completed induction and any other site access requirements.

29.2 Initial inductions

Initial worker inductions are useful for setting the scene for workers.

Initial inductions should include relevant site-specific information and requirements such as:

  • clear descriptions of the key roles and responsibilities of those on site, what these people look like, where they can be found, and how to contact them (having a photo board may help)
  • entering and exiting the site
  • speed limits
  • site layout
  • locations of facilities, including first aid
  • emergency procedures
  • known hazards on site and the control measures being used to manage the risks arising from hazards (for example, harnesses to be used for all work at height)
  • potential hazards that could be encountered (especially for mobile work)
  • how to report an incident or hazard
  • who their health and safety representatives (HSRs) are
  • how worker mental any physical health and wellbeing is promoted and supported (and where they can seek help if needed)
  • rules that should be complied with
  • health and safety documents, policies, and plans specific to the worksite, such as a vehicle movement plan.

Some induction information such as general health and safety principles may be covered in industry-accepted health and safety, and site access training assessments that are completed by workers beforehand.

Site inductions are usually administered by the site manager or a designated representative.

29.3 Te ao Māori in induction – whakawhanaungatanga

In a te ao Māori context, induction can be likened to whakawhanaungatanga which is, in essence, an introduction of oneself. This is important for all workers as it helps in:

  • making connections
  • making sure everyone knows who they are working with and who they need to know (in terms of emergency or reporting lines)
  • building trust and confidence in each other.

Worker inductions allow workers the opportunity to introduce who they are and where they come from. Introductions can provide opportunities for personal connections to be made (not just within their business but across other businesses, when applicable).

Where relevant, consider inviting workers’ whānau to whānau inductions (a separate event run for whānau) so members of their whānau can feel a part of what is happening. Undertaking a holistic approach regarding workers and their whānau can help achieve a healthier and safer home, and work-life balance.

29.4 Pre-work briefings (toolbox/tailgate talks)

Pre-work briefings (sometimes known as toolbox talks or tailgate talks) are a good way to check-in with workers at the beginning of each shift. They can be used to:

  • let workers know what will happening on site that day, and how it will be done in a healthy and safe way
  • advise workers of any specific activities and risks to look out for that day (for example, expected weather conditions, or new or additional mobile plant in operation at the worksite)
  • check with workers on their wellbeing and readiness for work.

This could be backed up with a visual aid such as a whiteboard with key details.


Consider having a karakia at the commencement of shifts/toolbox talks/health and safety meetings.

The use of karakia (regardless of the religion or belief systems of your workers), is a means of creating a positive space for all. Karakia can be used to start and finish off the day, and is also be a means of bringing everyone together. Karakia can be used to connect workers to their environment and asks for that environment to protect them.

29.5 Tips for preparing an induction

When preparing induction material, you should consult with workers and all PCBUs in the contracting chain. You should also aim to:

  • keep it as brief as possible
  • use simple straightforward language
  • tailor the document to suit the type of worksite or activity and cover the health and safety risks relevant to that site or activity. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all induction document
  • use visual aids such drawings, diagrams, or objects where possible (they can often convey the message much more effectively than words)
  • consider the range of literacy and language skills of workers that may need to read and understand it
  • consider the range of skills, knowledge, and experience of new workers and visitors to the site (avoid using jargon or acronyms without explaining what they mean)
  • consider providing any induction documentation in other languages.

All PCBUs on site should be fully aware of their roles and responsibilities before any activity is started. Site inductions should be completed for every new worker or visitor to a site.

In addition, the site manager or designated representative should:

  • review the induction document regularly. Reviews should include considering any feedback from workers and other PCBUs in the contracting chain
  • monitor all workers on site to make sure they are working safely and complying with the site rules
  • make sure action is taken when someone does not follow the site rules, or they operate in an unsafe manner.