Managing your staff's PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) can be incredibly time consuming, particularly for larger businesses who employ a sizeable workforce. However, cutting corners and not checking your equipment can put you and your employees in danger; increasing the risk of accidents in the workplace due to the decreased protection. We've come up with five ways to reduce the time spent managing your PPE without compromising on protection or safety.
Get a PPE Partner
Buddying up your employees may seem a little primary school but trust us, if you're trying to save time without compromising safety then this is one of the simplest and most effective ways to do so. All you need to do is pair up your employees and, at the start and end of each working day or week (depending on how much wear and tear your personnel are exposed to) ask your staff to check the condition of each of their buddies PPE items, which could range from security vests and hi-vis trousers to hard hats and safety goggles. This gives each individual a sense of responsibility for their PPE partner and is much more likely to ensure that you are made aware of any issues.
Make a Meeting
If buddying up your employees doesn't sound feasible then the next best thing would be to gather everyone together for fortnightly or monthly checks and meetings to assess whether new equipment is needed. This also give your staff the opportunity to raise any queries regarding their PPE as well as generally having the chance to discuss any discrepancies, worries or simply to catch up with the goings on in different departments.
Follow the Rules
All PPE items are supplied with manufacturer information on the best way to store, clean and generally keep your equipment in top condition for as long as possible. This information should not be ignored. Check out what the manufacturer has to say about maintenance schedules and stick to them as these instruction have been put together for a reason. For example, reusable earplugs should be washed in warm, soapy water on a regular basis, stored in their correct containers when not in use and regularly inspected for cracks or deformations.
Putting in a little bit of your time supplying your staff with the correct training and information about the limitations of each item, including when it is appropriate to repair and when it is necessary to replace different items, will save you having to spend time investigating minor damage that does not affect the effectiveness of the protection. This method of PPE management will also save you money as rather than simply scrapping protective clothing and requesting new, your staff will know when they need new clothing.
Keep it Simple
Make your staff aware of your procedure for reporting a problem or a defect. Make it as simple and hassle-free as possible and people are much more likely to take the time to make you aware of small issues that could quickly escalate, causing a safety breach.
It is important to remember that PPE is just one of several safety methods that should be implemented in any workplace and it is down to the responsibility of the employer to provide staff with suitable protective outerwear. Why not view our range of personal protective wear to see the kind of items you should be supplying your staff with.
Posted in Health and Safety