Non-compliance with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is costing us all around £65 million a year* and has serious health consequences for many. In this blog post, the last in a series of four written by Sarah Broadbent from 3M’s Technical Service team, Sarah takes a look at some of the steps you can take to reduce problems within your own company. There are two main areas to consider: the equipment itself and the training that goes with it.
- The longer a protective device needs to be worn on a shift, the more chance that it will become uncomfortable and the user will take it off or not wear it properly. Always test PPE over a complete shift before committing to it. (This is something 3M actively promotes with all PPE.)
- Good enough on paper isn’t necessarily good enough in real life. Make sure all PPE equipment is tested on the job, not just in a changing room.
- If different elements of PPE need to be worn together, test them together. Items might not work as well as expected when coordinated with other items.
- Clean and safe storage will prolong the life of your PPE and protect its effectiveness.
- A strong safety culture throughout your company will help counter issues like bravado and complacency with PPE.
- Regular reminders with new posters help to keep the issue front of mind.
- Formal training through group classroom lessons, individual face-to-face sessions or online videos help to give employees a good understanding of why they always need to wear their PPE when required.
Download and share our Top Tips for PPE Compliance flyer to help improve PPE Compliance in your workplace.
*Source: Health and Safety Executive, Research Report 419, 2006. Evidence base for identifying potential failures in the specification, use and maintenance of PPE at work.