As a manufacturing company, you certainly want to make sure your employees are as safe as possible at all times when they're in your facility. However, it's not always easy to follow through on that goal, especially if those workers are sometimes reluctant to wear all the proper protective gear as they take on different tasks or just move through your factory.
How can you get rid of that reluctance and ensure your entire workforce is diligent about following through with wearing all appropriate personal protective equipment? The following steps will help:
1) Make sure you do the same
First and foremost, if you as a manager are walking the factory floor with little to no PPE of your own, that's not setting a very good example, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. Instead, strive to go above and beyond, wearing as much PPE as is appropriate for any given task you take on throughout the course of a day. That way, workers won't get into the mindset of, "If the boss isn't doing it, why should I?"
2) Educate and train them about PPE
Often, workers may complain about PPE because they don't fully realize why it's so important, the SHRM said. While they may generally "get" the concept that protective gear is critical to their well-being, they may not understand why a specific piece of PPE is important. Train them in the why and how of proper use, and that problem typically goes away.
3) Put your policies in writing
If you're trying to boost PPE compliance, it's important to codify as much of your policy as you can, so there's never any ambiguity about what's required of your employees, according to EHS Daily Advisor. It's not that you necessarily want to have to punish non-compliance, but having everything written down for easy reference makes it easier to reinforce proper behavior.
4) Come up with personal reasons to follow through
If you're still finding difficulty in getting full buy-in from your staffers, it may be advisable to give them a little more incentive to wear their PPE, EHS Daily Advisor added. That can be as simple as framing it personally: Don't they want to get home to their families safe and sound? Don't they want to avoid a trip to the hospital? Don't they want to avoid a workplace accident? That should help bring home the message for why PPE is so important.
5) Get already-engaged workers involved
If you already have more than a few employees who are fully onboard with your safety mandates, enlisting them to encourage those who lag behind is always a good idea, according to Carolina Safety Consultants. If the latter group sees that their peers are proactive about PPE use, they're more likely to follow suit.
6) Listen to feedback
Of course, if you continually bump up against resistance when it comes to PPE, it might be important to sit down with the employees who aren't following through and hear them out, Carolina Safety Consultants noted. They may have better reasons than you might think for going without.