Set the Safety Expectations in the On-Boarding Process
For too many companies it's a missed opportunity.
Instead of simply covering the basic requirements and reviewing company documents, turn the on-boarding process into a meaningful way to set safety expectations. This is your best and possibly last chance to establish clearly and definitively what the company expects from people who are new to your company. Setting expectations at this stage is doing a service to the new employee.
When the on boarding process for a new worker is limited to a basic review of company policies, and signatures on various paperwork, it allows the new worker to enter the workspace with all sorts of questions in his mind. How important is safety in this company? How dangerous is my job? What's the attitude of the other people I will be working with towards safety? Can I ask for help if I don't understand something? How vigilant will the bosses be if I take shortcuts, or don't wear my PPE at all times?
Contrast that with the new worker who has been clearly informed that safety is the highest priority in the company. When that worker is made to understand that unsafe behavior and carelessness are not tolerated, and can result in discipline and even termination, he enters the workplace with a very different understanding. When the on-boarding process includes a message from a company executive that nothing is more important than safety, there are no questions left to answer, and the employee enters the workplace with the confidence that the company cares a great deal about his, and everyone's safety. That is a very positive way to start a new job.