How to get your teams to wear the right PPE

Posted by Cathy Houghton at

Personal Protective Equipment can be vital for those working in industrial situations. 

Designed to protect workers from specific hazards and prevent long term damage from occurring, PPE can prove vital when carrying out your everyday job role. 

Ranging from high vis jackets, safety goggles, gloves, safety boots, head protection, and more – PPE acts as the first line of defence in protecting you from injury and harm. 

Helly Hansen workwear for employees

With a reported 555,000 non-fatal injuries to UK workers reported in 2017/18 ensuring your employees wear PPE, therefore, becomes essential in bringing these numbers down. 

Renowned workwear brand Snickers is also dedicated to protecting workers, with garments explicitly designed for those on-site. With a range of Snickers workwear including; trousers, jackets, and even thermals. 

But and there is a but, even with the best intentions, many workers will still be reluctant to use the right PPE for their role. 

This can be a stressful time for all involved, as, as an employer, you must ensure the safety of your employees and that you abide by health and safety regulations. As an employee, we understand that you can often feel that the use of PPE can restrict you in your role. 

Below, we’ve provided some hints and tips to help motivate workers to wear the correct PPE for them and how to keep everyone happy. 

How to motivate your teams to wear PPE 

Build it into your company culture 

Health and Safety should be the top priority for every company, but embedding the use of PPE into the company culture can help to motivate employees to new levels. 

To help, make sure your team understands why they need PPE, it’s the role, the importance, etc. 

If your team understands the why, rather than feeling it is something that is forced upon them, they will be more receptive.  

It’s important to ask for feedback from your teams too, working together to create a safer environment for everyone. 

Make sure you have appropriate safety signs 

Placing appropriate safety signs around sites as well as making sure they are up to date is essential. You can’t assume that everyone knows what PPE you should wear and when.  

Take active steps to ensure a safer working environment while showing your teams a genuine effort and commitment to their safety. 

Identify the different hazards for different job roles 

Different job roles will, of course, require different PPE wear. Carrying out analysis of what is needed for each, will help to answer the “why do we need these” questions.  

As part of this analysis, past incidents should be considered, including first aid reports, etc. 

From this, appropriate PPE can then be put in place, identifying which PPE protects against each element. 

Training can be everything 

We’ve briefly mentioned that not everyone will be fully aware of why PPE is required; hence, they can become reluctant to use it. With regular PPE training, you can minimise the impact of safety equipment and demonstrate its real importance.  

Real-life stories are an effective way to drive the message home and make more people appreciative of PPE. Showing employees what they could lose if an accident were to happen. 

The more visual you can make it, the greater the impact you can have. 

It’s also important through training to show proper use and fit of PPE. If workers aren’t shown how to use PPE properly, then the chances of the PPE failing are increased, and it will more than likely be uncomfortable to wear. 

Refresher training should be offered to all employees, with inductions set up for beginners and new starters. 

Know how to store and maintain PPE 

As part of the above training, employees need to understand how best to look after PPE and how to store PP equipment safely to prevent early wear and tear as well as possible malfunctions from occurring. 

Opt for equipment that is easy to clean, maintain, and replace! Cleaning and maintaining is all part of PPE use, so ideally you need to keep it as simple as possible. 

Choose the right PPE 

There is a wide range of personal protective equipment available, with Snickers workwear being one such brand. It’s about focusing on workwear that doesn’t get in the way, that doesn’t restrict workers, offers comfort, durability, and above all, safety. 

Involving employees in decision-making will help. You can also ask workwear suppliers for samples, letting you try before you buy. Your supplier will also be able to offer you further suggestions and workwear suitability for specific job roles and male and female employees. 

Employee input can be essential, especially in finding out what their preferences are when it comes to PPE workwear if they have a preferred brand and more.  

The more you can accommodate their preference, the more chance you have of them wearing it. 

Enforce your PPE policies 

You’ve gone to the effort to make sure that everything is right; now, you need to make sure all supervisors and managers, etc. enforce it! PPE policies help when people start to become slightly complacent. 

Positive reinforcement should also be considered as it can be a further encouragement for others to follow in the same footsteps. Leading by example is key, ensuring the correct safety procedures are followed at all levels because if you’re not willing to use it, you can’t expect your employees too. 

Protecting you and your employees from harm should be the number one point on all agendas. It’s not about saving money; you’re doing it to improve safety and wellbeing. 

Having a clear policy in place can help prevent injury as well as motivate employees further. 

Active Workwear supply a range of PPE workwear, offering fast delivery, consistent stock availability, and personalisation where appropriate. 

To view our popular Snickers work trousers, click here, or call us on 0113 256 7021 for further details.

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