Health and safety practices in the workplace need to be constantly under review if you are going to improve your chances of avoiding an unfortunate or dangerous incident.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a pivotal role in ensuring your safety procedures are up to an acceptable standard, so here are some pointers on how to manage workplace safety more effectively using PPE.
Beyond the call of duty
Employers have a duty and responsibility to keep their workers safe but the aim should always be to look at how you can exceed safety standards beyond basic compliance.
Some of those official requirements imposed through legislation include the provision and use of personal protective equipment.
PPE is the term used to define a range of equipment that is designed to protect the user against a variety of health and safety risks they might face during the course of their work. As you can see when you visit a site like RS Components, the range of safety clothing and equipment is wide and can include things like safety helmets, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear, and includes more specialist items like respiratory protective equipment.
To be able to manage workplace risk successfully you have to identify what those specific risks are to your business.
If you are looking at protective employees in a warehouse environment, for instance, they will most likely need to be issued with safety footwear to protect them from heavy objects falling on their feet, together with gloves, high-visibility clothing, and things like lifting equipment and harnesses to allow safe movement of heavy items.
The starting point should be to draw up a list of work duties and align those daily functions with the sort of risks and hazards that each person might face while they are carrying out their work.
PPE is not an optional safety enhancement, it is an essential aspect of keeping every worker safe from injury and illness, so you need to choose what range of clothing and equipment will help you to meet those safety goals.
The importance of training
Introducing safety procedures into the workplace and providing the right protective clothing and equipment is just one part of the equation and all employees will need to have the right safety training on how to use PPE and have good risk-awareness in general.
Regular training sessions and attending safety instruction sessions should be mandatory for all workers and the aim should be to make employees accountable for their actions in using PPE appropriately by getting them to sign off their agreement once the training has been provided.
There should be no exceptions when it comes to safety and too many avoidable accidents tend to occur when someone takes a shortcut in the safety procedures to save a few minutes.
If you can instill a sense of discipline and zero-tolerance when it comes to following health and safety guidelines at all time, it will greatly enhance your efforts to manage workplace risk and make the most of PPE.