Personal protective equipment also known as PPE can help protect you from hazards or physical harm that you may encounter in the workplace. It is particularly important for industries that are known to encounter hazards, such as building or mining. All PPE should meet Personal Protective Regulations, and should be provided by an employer – they must make sure it is the correct size and fit for the user. Here are some following ways in which you can encourage your staff to wear adequate PPE to help keep them as safe as possible:
Enforce a health and safety policy
The first way in which you can encourage PPE to be worn is to enforce a health and safety policy, through company rules but also by creating a safety conscious culture. A culture is more likely to be effective in the long run, and it means that you are not having to constantly threaten staff with disciplinaries – they should want to wear their PPE. Make sure to display safety signs and regularly ask for feedback to allow them to have a voice on issues that are currently bothering them in regards to safety.
Offer safety training
Many do not want to wear as they do not fully understand the risks of not wearing PPE, usually due to lack of training. It is important to inform staff of all the risks involved, and how to use it properly to prevent injury. Training sessions can be a polite reminder to follow the rules, but also a great time to bring up real life stories of accidents that have happened and injuries due to lack of PPE to further emphasise the importance.
Provide the best PPE
Make sure that any PPE you provide is of a high quality – if the PPE you have purchased is impractical, always breaking, and is uncomfortable you are bound to face more resistance to wear it. When choosing what to buy, make sure that they are items or products that will last and is easier to put on. To create more motivation to wear PPE, why not give your employees freedom of choice when it comes to certain items – such as safety boots and footwear. After all, they are the ones who will be wearing it so its important that they are happy with the decision, and they will have no excuse not to wear it if they chose it!
The importance of PPE can not be disputed, and it is your legal duty as an employer to ensure that your staff are as safe as possible when at work. Communicate this repeatedly and clearly to all staff to help reduce the number of workplace injuries.