Personal protective equipment (PPE) policies focus on helping your staff stay safe from injury and illness caused by exposure to certain hazards. PPE is equipment workers wear to minimize exposure to hazards. It includes items like respirators, gloves, aprons and protective eyewear.
While most workers agree that PPE is a good common sense tool to have, relying on your workers’ common sense isn’t the best way to reduce safety risks. A company-wide PPE policy boosts PPE compliance in a number of ways.
First, a PPE policy makes it easier to ensure that workers use the right equipment every time by spelling out for them what the “right” equipment is and which tasks are the “right” tasks for using protective equipment. By removing the need to consider and choose, the policy frees up workers to focus on the task itself.
Consistent standards also make training easier. When PPE use is presented as part of the “right” way to do a job, workers are more likely to include it in their routine as part of the job. Supervisors can more easily correct failures to use PPE by pointing out that not using the right gear means the job isn’t being done correctly.
What are the consequences of failing to use PPE? Most workers would list a number of injuries or illnesses related to the environment and the improper or missing gear. For instance, workers might say that a failure to use protective eyewear might result in debris or chemicals causing eye injuries.
Many consequences of failing to use PPE aren’t predictable, however. Others happen only intermittently, leading some workers to believe they can skip their protective gear because an injury won’t happen “this time.” A standard PPE policy sets out specific and consistent consequences for failing to use PPE, helping workers make a clearer connection between the need for PPE and doing their jobs properly.
As with other workplace policies, a PPE policy helps supervisors avoid claims of discriminatory or unfair treatment by providing a clear, neutral set of guidelines for both supervisors and workers to follow. Supervisors who can point to a policy and their methods for following it when they spotted a violation can build a case they are not targeting workers, but simply ensuring everyone does their job according to the rules.
The employment specialists at Eclipse Professional Services not only connect our clients to the best talent in the Dallas area, we also advise on workflow improvement, safety procedures and more. Contact us today; we’re happy to discuss your needs.