For an employer or manager, worker health and safety is one of the most important responsibilities you will have. Not only does poor health and safety reduce worker morale, but it can also open you up to a range of legal issues. Not to mention the financial impact should a severe accident ever occur due to poor health and safety.
One area of worker health and safety that has come under a lot of scrutiny of late is PPE or Personal Protective Equipment. The use of appropriate PPE is typically a matter of law, so you must take the proper measures in your own business. Here are five tips for handling your worker’s health and safety regarding PPE.
Do Your Research
When it comes to PPE, not all equipment is created equally. N95 respirators have gotten a lot of attention in the wake of COVID-19, but it is not a simple case of one model being “better”. With the additional protection an N95 respirator offers, there is also more strain on the wearer. And, of course, more expense for your business.
Fortunately, not every situation calls for the highest-rated respirators. Indeed, cloth face masks are adequate in a lot of cases and are both considerably less expensive than something like an N95 respirator, and much more comfortable to wear.
Enforce Health and Safety Policies
Worker’s are not always as concerned with their own health as perhaps they should be, particularly in industrial settings. Unfortunately, the law does not do a lot of mitigating for worker’s choosing not to use proper PPE.
If you are required by law to provide certain PPE for your employees, you must make sure they use that PPE. Not only for their own health but to protect your business. If an employee refuses to wear steel toe cap boots, it will still be your insurance that takes a hit if something heavy lands on their foot.
Educate Your Workers
Knowing the repercussions of not adhering to health and safety regulations is a simple way of encouraging them to do the right thing. Most workers who are reluctant to wear adequate PPE are often unaware of the risks involved. By educating them on those risks, you may find that they are considerably less likely to flout any health and safety rules you have in place at your business.
Have Peer Representatives
Having a peer health and safety representative is an excellent way to see health and safety rules are followed. With a peer representative, your employees are less likely to see regulations as unnecessary rules from on high. They will have someone they can talk to about these matters, and also someone who can reprimand them for not adequately protecting themselves.
Training and Availability
When it comes to PPE, do not skimp on the quantities of equipment available. You should always have enough PPE for all of your employees, plus spares in the event of malfunctions or breakages. Furthermore, you must provide any necessary training that comes along with that PPE.