Safety apparel and equipment should be a fixture of your workplace. Because it’s the employer’s responsibility to outfit workers in the safety gear, you need to make sure you’re covering all bases. Occupational Health & Safety magazine explained that these are some of the most important items that you should be providing your employees:
- Well-fitted helmets
- Protective eyewear
- Ear plugs or muffs for noisy environments
- Protective gloves for workers handling toxic substances
- Strong fall harnesses for construction professionals
- Anti-slip footwear
- Protective clothing for dusty or toxic areas.
The National Workzone Safety Information Clearing House noted that high visibility apparel is also essential for any employees working on construction sites or in areas with lots of traffic. Top quality high visibility apparel consists of three portions: the background material, the retroreflective material and the combined-performance material. Depending on your site’s location and time of day, workers might need to only wear these fabrics in the form of a lightweight vest, or they may need to be fully outfitted.
Make sure your workers are outfitted correctly
Because personal protective equipment (or PPE) choices can make or break potentially dangerous situations, it’s absolutely vital that you make sure workers are properly clothed.
Occupational Health & Safety magazine explained that managers in charge of safety should carve out time to evaluate employees. Walk around to different departments and see what the current situation is in terms of gear. Is absolutely everyone wearing hard hats in construction zones? Is eye protection a top priority in places where debris and dust are abundant? If it seems like your workers may be cutting corners or ignoring protocol entirely, you may need to implement safety training courses. Even if you’ve previously held classes on the topic of workplace safety, you may need to give a refresher course on appropriate apparel.
You should also look into exactly why your workers aren’t following safety guidelines in what they choose to wear. Aside from a lack of knowledge, there are a plethora of reasons that employees may be choosing to clothe themselves in protocol-breaking apparel. Is your company not providing the proper garments or accessories? Are the ones that are being provided too old or broken to function properly? Is the safety apparel actually getting in the way of people doing their jobs? You may need to place a new safety equipment order or completely reevaluate the products your company’s been using.