Know the latest news in time, understand industry trends
News detailsPosition:Home >News > News details

Get workers to wear their PPE: 16 best practices-3


11.   Use spot coolers

Installing central air conditioning in many plant floors and machine shops isn’t feasible or affordable. But consider that workers don’t wear or frequently remove life-saving PPE when they’re hot and stuffy.

One solution: spot coolers or mobile air-conditioning units.

Spot coolers positioned near heat-generating equipment or group work areas increase workers’ comfort, making them more likely to keep PPE on.

Also: Workers can take short breaks near a spot cooler and reduce their body temperature before donning PPE and going back to work.

12.   Put in more fans

Better ventilation helps reduce high temperatures in non-cooled work areas by a few degrees.

Many facilities install multiple ceiling fans to ventilate plant floors.

Another option: Multiple box fans and oscillating floor fans.

Facility managers or contractors can come up with solutions to make workers more comfortable and more apt to wear PPE.

13.   Bring in PPE vendors

All the latest and greatest PPE looks perfect in a brochure or on a Web site. But PPE isn’t about looks – how it feels, fits and conforms to a worker’s body is the key for compliance.

More and more companies invite multiple PPE vendors to demonstrate their best and newest products on site.

Vendors can explain why certain PPE provides excellent protection, describe the materials it’s made with, and demonstrate how workers should don and doff the gear.

Safety directors and supervisors can ask questions about the products and show vendors the hazardous jobs workers do.

14.   Let workers choose their PPE

Giving workers personal choice about their PPE will increase their personal commitment to safety.

Maintenance facilities supervisor Lewis Franklin, from Kearfott Guidance and Navigation in Black Mountain, SC, learned that lesson firsthand:

“Some workers were getting lax on safety, namely PPE.

“Luckily we hadn’t had any major accidents. But workers weren’t taking enough of a personal interest in their safety.

“They’d wear the ‘easy’ stuff, but anything that was uncomfortable or ‘a pain’ to use, would somehow ‘slip their minds.’

“That kind of casual compliance made us nervous.

“We needed a way to get our guys to take PPE seriously. “So we went to the experts in the field – the PPE vendors.

“We brought a few vendors in to demonstrate new products and models. The big key: They met with the whole workforce, not just managers.

“Our workers asked questions and discussed options with the vendors.

And we gave them a say in what PPE would best fit their jobs.

“The costs for new PPE weren’t much more expensive than what we were paying for the gear they didn’t always wear!

“The vendors were happy. They got more business and a chance to make a free sales pitch.

“More importantly, our people are paying more attention to PPE. They know the ins and outs of the equipment they’re using, and they see why it’s so important to wear it.

“Plus we can say: ‘Look. This is what you wanted to wear and chose to wear. Now we expect you to wear it.”

Result: Workers are in compliance. And no more ‘I forgot’ excuses.”

15.   Don’t wear it? Then they don’t work

Disciplining union or salaried employees for PPE non-compliance can be challenging. Oral or written warnings are the only options for first-time PPE offenses for employees in some situations.

Not true for day laborers, non-salaried, non-union employees and contract workers. If they don’t work, they don’t get paid.

More and more foremen and supervisors simply send home workers who don’t obey PPE and other safety rules.

As one veteran foreman says: “Once they get sent home and don’t make a dime that day, they get the message pretty quick! Either they shape up and don’t mess around again,  or they choose not to come back here to work. Either way, it works out pretty good for me.”

16.   Training idea: Fall protection

Some workers who skip wearing fall protection seemingly don’t care if they get hurt. Share this story with workers at their next safety meeting on fall protection:

A construction worker wore his safety vest while working on a building. But he didn’t tie off his lanyard to a secure anchor point. He somehow lost his footing and fell from the building. The worker died.

He also fell on a co-worker directly below him. The co-worker broke his neck and jaw and suffered a concussion. He’s lucky he wasn’t killed, too. (Info: Calgary Sun)