We often hear people saying that there’s no reward without risk, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. Companies also prefer individuals who are risk-takers. But when it comes to working in a factory, where there are multiple workplace hazards, don’t take any kind of risk, play it safe, wear industrial safety products, and follow proper safety protocols.
PPE is mandatory for the safety of employees working in hazardous environments. Every year, millions of employees avoid deadly injuries due to workplace hazards by using PPE.
ILO (The International Labor Organization) has evaluated that over 2 million people are affected by workplace injuries. Therefore, we can’t ignore the benefits of using safety equipment at work. But the hard part is to motivate the workers to use protective equipment and answering their questions or objections regarding the use of PPE. Now, we’re going to discuss how you can motivate your team to wear work safety gear.
1) Lead by Example
Employers should create an atmosphere of leading by their actions, rather than just ordering everyone around. Leading the employees by example is very important to promote a safe work environment. It’s difficult to follow someone who doesn’t do what he tells them to do. Therefore, to motivate workers to follow safety protocols, you should lead by example. So put on the safety gear and show the importance of PPE to your workers.
2) Educate the Workers
The best way to motivate your workers to wear PPE is to demonstrate its importance in the first place. Just making the equipment accessible to the workers won’t motivate them to just pick it up and use it. You’ve to educate the workers about the benefits of PPE. As an example, after the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020, the authorities had to educate and guide everyone to wear face masks and keep a social distance from others.
The same applies to PPE in the workplace. The employer should educate the workers on why they need to use specific PPE for their job. Informing them of the risk involved if they don’t use PPE and what impact it can put on their health and safety.
3) Create a Culture around Safety
A company where the health and safety of workers are a priority will ingrain this in the workers’ minds that their safety is most important to the company. This will increase employee motivation to use the PPE. As maintaining workers’ safety is the duty of an organization, creating a culture where health and safety are placed as the top priority will encourage workers to work more efficiently and effectively.
4) Promote Open Communication/Open Door Policy
If there’s a gap between the senior management and the workers, it creates a frustrating environment for the workers. Good communication in the company can create a friendly environment that will motivate workers to follow the management instructions. By promoting open communication, workers feel that they’ve been given importance, and they will follow the safety instructions happily.
5) Workplace Hazards and Diseases
Working in an environment that has workplace hazards can be a tough job. The thing that makes it worse is that workplace hazards not only include physical injuries, but also several diseases. Some major diseases are contact dermatitis, calluses, tetanus, heat, and cement burns. The risk of suffering from these diseases can be avoided with the use of PPE. As an employer, you can tell the workers about the dangers. This will make them feel alert and responsible for their health and safety.
6) Use the Right PPE
Making workers use PPE which is difficult to carry, use, and clean can demotivate them. This can result in making them feel burdened and can add to their difficulty while carrying out routine tasks. Workers will look for ways to not use it, resulting in hazardous injuries. Therefore, you should use industrial workwear which is easy to clean, maintain and replace.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t enforce the use of PPE. It should be as per the requirement of the job, so the workers could understand its importance.
7) Enforce Policies and Make Revisions
You have formed your company and spent hundreds of hours making a perfect health and safety policy. Now comes the hard part, enforcing your policy to the workers. You’ve to kick-start your policy implementation in the beginning. But gradually, by spreading knowledge among the workers, you can motivate them to wear safety gear on their own. But here your work hasn’t ended, the policy needs to be revisited at least once a week and should be revised if needed so that the workers feel confident and more motivated when it comes to following the policy.
8) Reward System
You should adopt a reward system to promote a healthy and safe work environment. This can also help to monitor the workers who are responsibly following the safety rules. By doing this, you can increase workers’ overall motivation towards their work and influence others to work better.
Common Safety Gear
Here are some common safety gear that’s used in most companies to ensure the safety of their employees:
Helmets are very important to protect the head of the workers from severe and life-threatening head injuries. Wearing a helmet can save a person from any object or stone coming down from high above towards his head, or any swinging object at the workplace. If you’re an employer, you must ensure that your employees are wearing helmets or not.
- Safety Gloves
In most of the tasks that are carried out within a factory, hands play a vital role in them. So wearing high-quality leather safety gloves is mandatory to prevent any possible damage to the hands.
The eyes are a very delicate part of the human body. So, taking proper care of them is very important to prevent losing eyesight. For this, workers should wear safety goggles that can protect their eyes from every kind of injury.
- Air Filters
Workers should make sure that they’ve good quality air filters or masks before starting their work. As if a person inhales anything dangerous, it could damage the lungs and the respiratory tract, causing several issues in breathing.
- Safety Suit
A safety suit is also an essential PPE for working in a factory, as many tasks in a factory involve passing near fast-moving pointed machines that could harm the body even if slightly touched. So workers should wear high-quality cut and heat-resistant clothes to avoid such injuries.
- Safety Shoes
In factories, several times workers have to carry heavy objects that can fall from their hands to their feet and cause harm. To prevent these types of injuries, workers should wear high-robust footwear, so they may remain protected while working.
These were tips to motivate your team to wear work safety gear. We also discussed the types of PPEs that are most commonly used to protect workers from workplace hazards. Following these tips, hopefully, you’ll succeed in motivating your team to use PPE regularly at work.
Sibtain Haider, a content contributor at Mainstream Pakistan, associated with trading and digital marketing. Presently working at Digital Eggheads, a well-reputed digital marketing agency in Pakistan.