Most successful companies understand that the best way to meet compliance standards in regard to employees wearing their personal protective equipment is to furnish them some really "cool" products. Products such as gloves, safety glasses, and hardhats that keep them safe while bringing out their personalities at the same time!
We recently received the following note, which sets the example: "I received the hardhat yesterday and I love it. Itís been the talk of the town here for the past two days in my motor pool in Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. My 1stSgt, Co Gunny, and my CO all think itís the coolest thing since sliced bread. It has not only provided my cranium protection, itís given a sizable morale boost too to the Marines I work with. I wish to thank you one last time for ensuring its delivery here. Iíd also like to thank your company for making the ordering process so easy and the site easy to navigate. Take care." (Goodness knows - if anyone could use a lift, itís our service personnel.)
Many workers complain that their P.P.E. just doesnít fit or look right. Now, womenís products come in smaller sizes, from safety glasses to gloves and hardhats made just for them, some even in pink! There are coveralls and other protective outerwear that is not just "one size fits all." Because people come in all sizes, companies should have their safety leaders include part of the workforce to make the decisions in the products they select. It is unsafe for workers to have to perform their jobs in clothing that doesnít fit. Loose gloves and clothing can become caught in moving equipment.
If companies allow their employees to wear, for example, say, hardhats that have sports team logos on them, it lets workers show support for their team, which in turn, might cause a little competition, along with a winning spirit. We hope this encourages others to be aware that all safety glasses are not "Plain Janes." There are so many cool styles of glasses that surpass those found in optical stores, because not only do they look good, but furnish UV safety, as well as protect the eyes from foreign objects. The look of safety equipment depends on the materials it is made from. Therefore, many types of gloves and goggles or glasses are designed for protection and not style. Whether they are industrial grade or medical grade gloves or outer clothing, chemists, medical personnel, food handling workers, and others who are engaged in types of work that require these special protective barriers are happy to wear them, knowing they are protected.
The main concern toward keeping employees safe is to ensure they are compliant with safety rules. PPE is the last line of defense when it comes to protection. However, it wonít protect them if they donít wear it! The employee is responsible to know how to use this PPE for the particular purpose it was designed. It is the responsibility of the companyís safety leader to ensure that they are trained and understand how to take care of their PPE, knowing when it is damaged and how it can be repaired if possible, or replaced when necessary. It can be much more fun when workers to get to wear some type of PPE that puts a smile on everyoneís face.