Risk cannot be totally eliminated in any workplace. Some workplaces are more dangerous than others, but they all pose certain threats to the worker. The importance of PPE planning comes down to reducing and managing that risk. Accidents happen, but with proper PPE planning, those incidents will tend to do a lot less damage.
Just having PPE available to your employees is not enough to eliminate accidents. When implementing PPE into your workplace, it’s most effective to do so through a well-thought-out, comprehensive PPE program. But how does one create such a program?
Read The Rules
Applicable laws, regulations, industry standards and guidelines will provide a solid foundation for your PPE plan. Whether you deal with hazardous chemicals or heavy machinery, the first line of defense is going to be your OSHA handbook. You can check the official website at OSHA.gov to see what rules and guidelines apply specifically to your industry.
Don’t Use PPE As A Replacement For Proper Control
Wherever environment control is possible, use environment control. You’re going to see far fewer workers’ compensation insurance claims if you try to make your work environment as safe as possible. Safety glasses, hard hats, and gloves help, but they’re no substitute for not needing them in the first place. This isn’t always an option, of course, but wherever guard rails, safety glass or rubber floor mats are recommended, use them. PPE is there to help us manage the dangers in unsafe environments, but creating safer environments, where possible, should be the priority.
Run Down The PPE Plan Checklist
In laying out a PPE plan, you’ll want to cover all of these steps:
- Identify and assess the risks in your workplace
- Determine whether environment control is an option
- Select and provide appropriate PPE for workplace risks
- Ensure the PPE is properly fitted
- Educate and train your staff
- Give your management proper support
- Maintain your equipment
- Audit the program regularly
This may sound like a lot of steps, but the human and financial cost saved by these efforts will be priceless.
It’s a good idea to appoint a program coordinator to ensure that the PPE plan is properly designed and followed. Bringing in a safety contractor can make a big difference in large workplaces with extensive safety demands or where required by regulation, but a competent, trusted employee should be able to handle PPE compliance in smaller workplaces.
One more tip: The quality of the PPE gear is closely tied to compliance. Workers won’t want to wear gloves that are too small, goggles that dig into their eyebrows and temples or hardhats that limit visibility. Ensure that PPE gear is comfortable and provide a selection for workers to choose from.
About Daniels Insurance, Inc.
At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risks that businesses like yours face on a regular basis. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.