Top Excuses For Not Wearing PPE
“They’re uncomfortable.” “I look stupid.” “I’ve never needed it before.” “It’s not required.” “I can’t find it.” “I don’t have the time.” “It won’t happen to me.” “I don’t want to.” “I forgot.”
Sounds like excuses often given by teenagers, doesn’t it? However, these are the most common excuses provided by workers who fail to wear required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the workplace.
In a Kimberly-Clark Professional survey, over 80% of safety professionals observe workers failing to wear required PPE. Even though OSHA mandates PPE when hazards are present, most workers injured on the job were not wearing the required PPE at the time of the injury.
Eliminating Excuses For Not Wearing PPE
Excuses – whether from teenagers or adults – often come as avoidance for taking responsibility. They often come when someone feels they have no choice. Or, they come when someone doesn’t understand why they should do something. Sometimes, excuses originate from a lack of motivation to change habits. Addressing these issues is crucial in the battle against PPE noncompliance.
According to Health and Safety at Work, most “refusals for not wearing PPE in the workplace stem from poor management, communication and training.”
In other words, overcoming excuses for not wearing PPE requires educating and verifying understanding. It also means involving employees in the PPE selection process.
Educate & Verify Understanding
According to Kimberly-Clark, more than half of noncompliance comes from workers who thought they did not need PPE. This lack of knowledge points to the importance of educating and clarifying safety regulations.
Implementing a safety program decreases safety incidents by over half. However, checking for understanding is important to their success. That involves taking the extra step of obtaining worker signatures after training stating their understanding of the material presented.
Employers must also educate employees on consequences of noncompliance. This training includes showing workers what happens when accidents occur by discussing real-life scenarios involving injured workers who failed to wear required PPE. Of course, employers must also follow through with discipline when workers don’t wear required PPE.