It’s your first day in a new occupational health and safety (OHS) job. You’re excited, but nervous at the same time, not knowing quite what to expect. Read on to discover some things you can do to make a success of your first day.

1. Prepare yourself

Before arriving at work, you should prepare yourself as much you can. Ask the HR manager to send you the company’s OHS code, so that you can familiarise yourself with it before you start your job. Prepare a list of questions that you may want to ask on your first day – asking questions will demonstrate your interest in the job and a willingness to learn.

2. Describe yourself

Your new colleagues will want to find out more about you, and you will probably be asked to introduce yourself when you meet them. Prepare to give a short summary of where you’re from and to tell a little bit more about your background and family.

3. Arrive early

It’s good to arrive at the building earlier than you’re required to – arriving late for your first day isn’t the best start! You also need to assess how long your new route to work will take with morning traffic. When you arrive early, you can take a few moments to scope out your new workplace and gather your thoughts before heading inside.

4. Be positive

When meeting your new colleagues and managers, it’s natural to be nervous, but make sure that you smile, make eye contact, and make it clear that you are happy to be there and that you look forward to being part of the company. This will create a positive first impression and put you, and your new employers and colleagues, more at ease.

5. Listen and learn

Your first day will largely be dedicated to orientation. During your orientation sessions, listen carefully to everything that is being outlined to you, and take notes if you have to. Start becoming more familiar with the requirements of your job role, and ask questions whenever something isn’t clear to you. This is your opportunity to understand what your boss expects from you, and to get a better picture of what your priorities should be.

6. Introduce yourself to people

In your role in OHS, you will probably be making contact with people on all levels of the company. You are protecting the wellbeing of employees in the workplace, so they need to be able to trust and confide in you. To start building this trust, try to introduce yourself to as many people as possible in your first few days. Let your colleagues know that you are there to assist them. Seek to build at least one workplace friendship – it will be much easier to settle in when you have someone who supports you.

7. Start understanding your workplace

Part of your job is protecting employees from hazards in the workplace. On your first day, when you’re walking around the workplace, take note of locations where safety hazards may present themselves. Identify important areas where you’ll be expected to carry out your work. For example, you may need to examine machinery in a workshop or check that electrical boxes are safe and efficient. Getting a clear picture of your responsibilities early on will help you to settle into your work quicker.

Your first day on the job can set the tone for the next few years of your career. Approaching this exciting time with positivity, a desire to learn, and the proper preparation will set you on the right path!

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