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SafeStart Orientation


In the same way that SafeStart is an additional and important component of your overall safety system, it should also be an integral component of your orientation training or onboarding process. In fact, adding it to the mix will benefit you and the participants beyond simply introducing them to the SafeStart program.

New employees or temporary workers must be informed of the safety rules, policies, procedures and hazards you have at your site and specifically for their job, but successful onboarding or orienting requires more than knowledge and information delivery, it requires socialization tactics that will engage the employee in the company’s safety culture. Simply telling them about safety policies may not be enough unless they feel a shared commitment to following them with their new coworkers.

The inherent characteristics of SafeStart are very well suited to these socialization and engagement aspects. Its focus on personal safety, 24/7 safety and family safety immediately demonstrates the company's employee-driven culture and commitment to injury prevention. The state-to-error pattern is easy to understand and new people will quickly relate to it from their own personal injury history. These things, combined with the emphasis on storytelling in SafeStart, will provide a common language and framework to help people "fit in" and feel comfortable talking about safety and complying with all safety-related responsibilities.


SafeStart Orientation is a short, introductory course appropriate for your safety-related orientation of new hires as well as temporary workers, summer students, contractors and visitors.

The course can be delivered in 20 minutes by a facilitator in a classroom setting (with no trainer certification required) or in a self-study format. In either case, the training time is approximately 20 minutes. An additional 40 minutes will be needed for the optional workbook exercise described below. There are no group activities, although a trained facilitator can certainly share a SafeStart story and encourage participants to do the same. SafeStart cards are incorporated into the training to provide reinforcement and practice.

The trainee will be introduced to the SafeStart states, errors and critical error reduction techniques (CERTs) and the pattern involved in most acute injuries. They will watch two real SafeStart story videos, as well as an introductory video by the author of SafeStart, Larry Wilson.

It is not expected that sustainable “error reduction” or behavior change will result from this short training course. The goal is to introduce the terminology and concepts of SafeStart, strengthening the “common safety language” of the site, and assisting you in the socialization of new people with existing workers and your SafeStart-ingrained safety culture.

For more in-depth training, we recommend also assigning the SafeStart Unit #1 workbook to all trainees, further exposing them to the concepts and employing an additional learning methodology (self-paced, interactive reading) to increase retention. These workbooks are available at a substantially-reduced cost for this purpose, understanding the employee will still participate in a full Unit #1 classroom session (re-doing a new workbook) when that is scheduled during the year. No discount is offered on the employee license fees that must be purchased for the employee.