From time to time, you will have issues trying to get your employees to wear their personal protective equipment (PPE) all the time. There are probably a few culprits on your team right now. And there’s always an excuse: it doesn’t fit right, they forgot to put it on or it takes too much time to set up before getting to work.
Safety in the workplace is absolutely imperative! As a manager, you can’t risk an injury or a safety violation that results in a fine. Here’s how to address common employee issues with personal protective equipment.
1. It doesn’t fit right
Complaints about fit or comfort account for 30 percent of the excuses safety experts hear about why employees didn’t wear their PPE. Still, employees will often have valid concerns. It’s hard to concentrate on your tasks if you’re distracted by readjusting your helmet or trying to keep your safety glasses on your face.
Have your employees bring their own equipment or let them take ownership of what equipment you buy for them. Offer them several types of compliant gear and let them decide what to wear. You can either have them vote or order several different types. You might have to order more than one type to make sure everyone’s happy.
2. I didn’t know I had to wear it
Many workers try to feign ignorance when asked why they’re not wearing safety equipment. They blame a lack of training or claim no one ever told them. After they complete their training, have them sign a paper that states they received the equipment and understand how to use the equipment. Make sure to own the new standard and follow up with disciplinary action when they don’t wear it.
3. I don’t have time
Most workers are pressed for time as they’re shuffling around, getting ready for their shift to start. But there should always be enough time to make sure you’re wearing adequate safety equipment. Figure out why they feel they don’t have enough time—are they tardy? Is there a transportation problem? You might have to discipline tardy employees or set a policy that their work doesn’t start until safety equipment is on.
4. I won’t get hurt
Many workers believe they’ll never get hurt. They think they’re either experienced enough to never get hurt or they just think the odds are so small, it’ll never be them. You might convince them by showing them someone who has suffered a very serious injury. If you can, have that person speak to your team at a staff meeting. Let them talk about how the injury has affected their life.
5. I forgot
This is a pretty vague excuse and might be a cover for ill-fitting equipment or some other excuse. You have to make safety a priority for everyone, so ask questions and figure out the deeper reason for why employees might not be utilizing their PPE.
Lead by example and discipline if necessary so you can really send a message to your whole team. Safety comes first! Help your team by addressing their questions and concerns head-on, and you’ll be on the right track to a safer workplace for your entire team. Looking to find hardworking, safety-conscious employees? The hardworking team at ICR Staffing Services is here to help. Contact your local staffing agency in Victorville, CA to get started today.