You know that running a lab is important business; one that requires a high level of training to ensure safety is a top priority. Employees handle many chemicals that could be dangerous to themselves or others, which means they must understand proper protocol in the laboratory. All labs are different, so even though your employees might have prior lab experience, you must train them on lab-specific protocol. Proper training is vital to the success of your team. With proper training, your employees will have less questions and be more productive and efficient throughout their work days.
Require reading the safety manual during onboarding.
This is a simple way to ensure your team has the basic knowledge of how safety works in your laboratory. The employees can use the manual as a starting point before moving on to rest of their training. It should give them an overview of the lab, the contents in the lab and general lab-safety procedures. Once they read the manual, you should have a designated time for them to ask any questions before moving on to more training.
Walk them through the lab.
Take new employees through the lab and show them where everything is and how everything works. If you’re in a bigger lab, it might be best to stretch this over the course of two to three days, so it’s not too overwhelming. Go over proper procedures for handling various materials and chemicals and have the trainees repeat instructions back to you. When employees repeat instructions back to you in their own words, it helps them reinforce and understand what they’ve just learned as well as helping you know they understand what you’ve told them.
Offer incentives for maintaining lab safety.
We know that incentives are a great way to build culture in a company. It gives employees extra motivation for working hard and following the rules. When we talk about safety, we know how serious it is to keep your employees safe when they’re working in the lab. Offer to have lunch for the whole team after so many days of no accidents or safety-related issues. If there’s someone who has a job that requires them to pay extra attention to detail, acknowledge them and thank them for the work they do. Incentives and recognition make employees feel valued at their jobs.
Teach them about time management.
Working in a lab requires a good amount of time management and focus. Many times, employees will have research that needs completed as well as their lab work, which means they must prioritize their work and minimize distractions. Minimizing distractions helps to keep your employees safe, so they are always following proper safety procedures.Teach your employees the value of completing lab work in the lab as opposed to doing other aspects of work when they’re in the lab. Try to incorporate short breaks in the workday, so employees can refresh throughout the day to give their brains a break.
Training is a crucial part of employee onboarding and safety should be a big part of that training. Spend the time to train to your new employees and you will be glad you did when they are more productive and efficient in the lab.
If you’re looking for new lab employees, contact one of our recruiters to help you find the right person for your position.