It could be argued that workplace safety is the vital ingredient to ensuring productivity and efficiency – and you would be right. However, care for the workforce is also an indicator of the ethos of a company; it is representative of the culture within your organisation. This can have a far-reaching impact on how your existing and prospective customers perceive you and the loyalty they show, as well as the retention of skilled and experienced staff.
- Make it clear why you require your staff to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Seemingly reckless acts that lead to a workplace injury are, as often as not, the result of ignorance not choice. Builders understand that wearing a hard hat is a good idea because of the serious head injuries that can result from bricks or other items dropped from a height. There is a clear set of consequences for not wearing PPE on a building site. However, a maintenance worker in a lab might not realise the importance of wearing goggles to prevent vapour penetration. It’s possible that, from their experience, standard safety glasses have always served them well.
Training and signage on worker safety need to go beyond the instructional – we tell you wear this so you must wear it – as some people will always feel they know better. When explaining which gloves to use for certain jobs, for example, also explain how the material is resistant to a specific hazardous chemical. In this way you are being clear about why you require gloves, and specific gloves at that, to be worn for a particular application. This will increase your employees’ understanding and, it is hoped, their compliance.
- Make sure employees understand they are responsible for their own and others’ safety
Although as an employer you have a legal responsibility for the safety of your workforce, employees also have a responsibility to keep themselves and those around them free from harm and hazard. While it is your role and responsibility to provide PPE, protective clothing, equipment, signage and training, it is then their role and responsibility to comply with these safety requirements.
Dealing with non-compliance is not always easy. However, there should be clear human resources policies in place, that are transparent about the consequences for unsafe working practices.
- Carry out a regular programme of inspection and reinvestment
Carry out routine safety checks across your workplace. Safety equipment and clothing should be regularly checked for wear and breakages, and to ensure that items are being used within the manufacturers’ guidelines, including an item’s longevity and when it should be replaced.
A central record of all safety equipment, clothing and accessories in use that will help to make this routine checking efficient and straightforward. This in turn will lead to a continuous programme of reinvestment in PPE and other protective wear and equipment, and ensure the continued safety of your staff.
Contego Safety Solutions offers a comprehensive range of workwear, safety clothing and equipment, PPE and accessories, and an unsurpassed level of customer service.
Find out more about Contego Safety Solutions’ extensive range by downloading the Contego Catalogue now, visiting our website www.contegosafety.co.uk or contacting our friendly team on 0800 122 3323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.