Driving at a new workplace presents challenges for any employee. They may experience new vehicles, routes and co-workers as well as unfamiliar hazards and risks. That’s why every new hire, and especially each new and young worker, deserves a thorough orientation to make sure they are ready and able to safely complete the driving they will do for work.
Why focus on young and new workers?
Young and new workers are at higher risk simply because of their relative “newness”. It is your responsibility, as the employer or supervisor, to ensure that young and new workers understand the risks associated with hazards they may encounter at work. Young and new workers may lack the driving experience that might otherwise equip them to react to driving hazards. Training, orientation and supervision of young and new workers is the best way to raise awareness and understanding in new and young drivers.
Even for workers who have plenty of driving experience or had identical driving duties at a previous job, those previous practices might not be a good fit for their new workplace. A thorough orientation will help employees make a smooth transition into their new job and find driving success in their new workplace.
Who are young and new workers?
BC’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) 3.22 states that a:
A new worker includes anyone who is:
- new to that workplace (e.g., was recently hired),
- affected by a change of hazards in the workplace (e.g., driver is assigned a new delivery route, or construction work on current route exposes driver to new hazards),
- returning to a workplace where the hazards have changed during the worker’s absence (e.g., employee has been away from work for six weeks and is assigned a vehicle they have not driven before), or
- relocated to a new workplace where the hazards are different from the hazards in the worker's previous workplace (e.g., employee transfers from Burnaby to Kamloops office of same employer where they are asked to drive in winter conditions they have not encountered before).
A young worker is any worker under the age of 25.
There are legal requirements for employers and supervisors that are associated with those terms. The key one is that each employer must ensure that before a young or new worker begins work, they are given a health and safety orientation and training specific to that workplace. Remember, any vehicle used for work is a workplace.
Drivers who are new to BC
Although a person who holds a driver’s licence from outside of BC may be legally authorized to drive in BC, it’s unsafe to assume they have the skills and behaviours they need for your workplace. Vehicles, roadways, the laws around driving and the customary “rules of the road” in other jurisdictions are not necessarily the same as they are in BC. Employers are responsible to make sure new employees get the orientation and training they need to safely carry out the driving tasks they plan to assign them.
Driver Orientation Checklist
This checklist and guide will help employers and supervisors prepare new hires with the information they need to safely complete the driving they do for work. The checklist includes preferred practices and orientation topics required by the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) as they apply to workplace driving. It does not cover orientation that’s required for non-driving work duties.
This checklist can be used to:
- orient any employee who drives for work, whether they drive a company vehicle or their own vehicle for work, and
- document the orientation and training provided to new hires.
For further general guidance, see Training and orientation for new and young workers on WorkSafeBC.com.