Pesonal Protective Equipment

How to make sure your employees wear their PPE

It's impossible to remove all the health hazards in your workplace, but you can minimise them. Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the health risk to your employees. The Department of Labour (DoL) can shut your business down if you don't have the correct PPE in place.

As an employer, you have a legal duty to provide PPE if it's required and to enforce its use. But, it's not always easy to ensure your employees are using and wearing the PPE you provide.

You need to show your employees that they have a legal duty to take care of themselves and others as well as comply with all the measures you put in place for their protection. So how do you do this?

2 quick tips to make your employees wear their PPE

The Health & Safety Advisor gives you hundreds of tips to make your job easier. Here are just two examples.

Tip #1: Include a health and safety clause in all contracts of employment

Include a clause in your employees' contracts of employment stating that “failure to adhere to health and safety regulations may lead to disciplinary action and/or possible dismissal”. This rule must be applied consistently and continuously to build a culture of safety awareness and ensure that workers can't claim they're being singled out for punishment.

Tip #2: Stop employees damaging safety equipment

In terms of the OHS, it's an offence to intentionally or recklessly misuse or damage any safety equipment. Ensure that this rule is known and enforced. You can take disciplinary action in cases of abuse.

Make sure that:

  • Managers wear their PPE and act as role models at all times
  • You've issued employees with PPE
  • The PPE is the correct size and type to protect the person from the hazard to which they're exposed
  • They have been trained in the correct use, maintenance and storage of their PPE
  • Supervisors reinforce the need to wear the PPE on a regular basis and insist that correct PPE is worn at all times
  • Employees are counselled on the risks associated with not wearing PPE
  • Colleagues are encouraged to motivate each other for safe practices which include using PPE
  • As a last resort enforce your disciplinary code for non-compliance with company requirements
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