If you’re the manager or supervisor in an industry that requires workers to comply with PPE standards, you likely have heard every excuse as to why workers won’t wear their PPE. Despite their importance, there’s a good chance you’ll have at least one worker who either doesn’t understand the need for them or believes they are above using them. How do we stop this so we can prevent disaster in the future? We’ll give you a few ways to improve PPE worker compliance so everyone works a little more safely.
Don’t Neglect Employee Comfort
Of course, PPE is incredibly important for safety reasons and must be worn for very long portions of the day. Plenty of accidents have happened when workers became uncomfortable in their PPE and removed them to be more comfortable. If your workers must be in PPE for all or most of their workday, it’s crucial that you consider their comfort when finding PPE that they can wear for long periods of time. When PPE is comfortable to wear, it’s more likely that workers will wear it.
As much as we’d like to believe that safety is at the forefront of every worker’s mind, this isn’t always the case. If PPE is exceedingly cumbersome to wear or is stored off the work site, some workers will elect to not bother with it at all. The more convenient we can make it to store, maintain, and put on PPE, the easier it is on everybody to follow the standards as they should be.
Improve Consistency in Enforcing PPE Compliance
One of the tougher, but more effective, ways to improve PPE compliance in your workers is to ensure you are consistent in your enforcing of PPE standards. You can’t let one worker get away with not wearing their PPE one day and then reprimand another for doing the same thing the next day. This creates a lack of respect for the rules of wearing PPE. The more consistent you are with enforcing workers to wear the right PPE and correcting workers who don’t, the easier it is for everyone to know what will and won’t be tolerated.
Emphasize the Specific Purpose of PPE
Sometimes the issue comes from not knowing why one needs to wear PPE in the first place. If all you ever say is that the PPE will “help everyone stay safe,” you aren’t painting a clear picture of the purpose of this equipment. Make sure everyone knows exactly why they must wear certain PPE at certain times. Describing the hazards that each piece of PPE protects against gives everyone a better understanding of what it’s actually used for.
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