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Peter Sheffer, V.P., and Director of InsurancesMar 22, 20192 min read

Managing the Risks Created When Hiring New Employees

We all manage the risk we face every
hour of every day.

We manage health risks by eating right, exercising, and keeping up with annual physicals. We manage our commuting risks by driving defensively, obeying traffic laws and avoiding distractions.

But here at the NHADA’s Workers’ Compensation Trust (WCT) staff focuses on other risks —those that our WCT members face.

Risk management starts with our members’ each and every new hire. That’s because national studies have found that 30 to 40 percent of injured workers have been on the job for less than a year. Obviously, then, it is critical that employers take the time to hire the right person for the job and take the time to train and educate new employees.

The NHADA Strategic Hiring Guidelines were created with the assistance of employment law professionals to help members with this process. The Guidelines are available on the NHADA website for all NHADA members after signing in. The Guidelines outline key points in the hiring process that include reviewing applications, the interview, checking references, making a conditional offer, performing background checks, and ultimately performing the pre-placement drug test and completing the Second Injury Fund form. The studies have identified several reasons — beyond hiring the wrong person for the job — that new employees sustain injuries.

  • Employers assume that new employees know more than they do.
  • New employees are afraid to ask questions.
  • The environment is new and the employee is not familiar with the hazards.
  • Task-specific training focuses on what to do rather than what to avoid.
  • New employees lack knowledge about hazardous substances.
  • New employees fail to understand the purpose and importance of personal protective equipment and how to properly use it.
  • Employers fail to convey the safety message.

The NHADA loss prevention system has launched an internet-based training program in a partnership with TrainCaster that addresses many of these issues. One of the modules is directed specifically at new hires, who can complete all OSHA-required, best-practices safety orientation training quickly and conveniently prior to their commencement of actual work.

Providing new hires with industry specific training helps to set the tone of a safety culture in the workplace. Taking steps to help employees understand the risks they face and providing them with the tools and training they need to avoid injuries is a huge step toward managing the risk created by new employees. In the current economy with unemployment in NH at 3.1 percent, finding the best candidate for any open position is challenging.

Please remind those on your staff who are involved in the hiring process to review the NHADA Strategic Hiring Guidelines. By taking your time in the hiring process and following the steps outlined in the Guidelines, you should be able to identify applicants that you do not want in your place of employment and find the ones that are best suited to work for you.

Contact the Loss Prevention Department to get set up with TrainCaster through the NHADA web portal, at 800-852-3372 or email us at


Peter Sheffer, V.P., and Director of Insurances

Peter Sheffer earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1984. His claims career began shortly thereafter with a commercial insurance company where he obtained his multi-line claims adjuster license. From 1986 to 2005, Pete worked for a large self insurance pool in New Hampshire, handling workers compensation claims for public sector employers. Starting as a road adjuster, he worked his way up to Claims Manager, a position he held for six years before joining the NH Automobile Dealers Association Workers’ Compensation Trust in 2005.