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Get workers to wear their PPE: 16 best practices-2


6.   ‘Idiot-proof’ earplugs

Ear plugs are easy to lose. Workers may drop one or both and be unable to find them.

To save time (and their hearing), consider ordering earplugs connected with string. That way workers can take one earplug out for a brief conversation and put it back in easily because it’s hanging from the connecting string.

7.  Make it easy and convenient to clean

Just any kind of cleaning materials won’t do for safety glasses, goggles or face shields. Some rough cloth or paper towels will scratch lenses, especially prescriptive eyewear.

Keep plenty of mild soaps or soap/mild detergent mixes on hand for cleaning eyewear. Also: Provide soft wipes or shammy towels for drying eyewear after it’s been washed.

8.   Spell out what’s required

OSHA doesn’t require that companies post signage spelling out what PPE must be worn in machine shops, on the production floor, etc.

Even so, posting signs is a good idea.

List the required PPE on walls or on doors leading to work areas. They serve as an extra helpful reminder in addition to regular safety training and toolbox talks.

Plus: Visitors to any worksite may need the extra reminder, too.

9.   Pictures worth a thousand words

PPE reminder signage with just words works. Even better: visual reminders, such as pictograms.

Signs may show a worker silhouette image in black-and-white with colored gloves, hard hats, eyewear, coverall and boots.

Pictograms stand out in any building with standard written warnings and boards.

Also: Non-English-speaking workers can clearly understand pictograms, just as English-speaking employees do.

10.   Stress-busters that promote safety

Even when safety compliance among workers is very good or excellent, there’s always the chance for a backslide.

One common reason: workplace stress. When people are stressed, it’s more likely injuries can happen.

The Big 3 causes of workplace stress:

  • growing workloads

  • change, and

  • lack of control.

Any combination of these factors can lead to safety slip-ups, like skipping PPE use. Stress-reducing programs and exercise groups can help.