For a safety program to be effective overall in the manufacturing workplace, it is important that personal protective equipment or PPE is used wisely. However, if history is anything to go by, then PPE has never been used as such. This has been the reason why accidents are common across workplaces.
A lot of challenges are faced by product managers and manufacturing safety managers to remain complaint with PPE. However, their task is cut out because they also need to ensure workplace’s productivity and efficiency. This is where the challenge lies for the managers.
No doubt, administrative controls and safety engineering can be made use of by manufacturers to prevent physical hazards, but in order to provide extra safety to workers and help prevent head, face, or eye injuries; it is safe work practices and PPE compliance that actually helps. A look at data on injuries suffered by workers indicates that they avoided using PPE that were issued to them for preventing injuries.
It has been observed that a majority of head injuries were suffered by workers by not wearing head protection at their worksites. Had these workers been following safe work practices or wearing PPE they were provided with; these injuries could have been either completely avoided or minimized.
As there are a number of processes involved in welding, including torch cutting, grinding, etc., workers may often be required to keep changing protective gears, like a face shield or welding helmet, depending on the work they are required to carry out. Managers are often required to piece together their own version of PPE, in their attempt to simplify the procedure of switching between face shields, welding hoods, and hardhats.
The trend of non-complying with PPE protocols is quite saddening and frightening as it will adversely affect the productivity, safety, and health aspects of workers. Whatever the reasons are; bad attitudes, a wrong approach to safety aspects, or poor economic conditions, it is important that these trends are put to rest so that workers’ productivity and efficiency is guaranteed and that their safety and health concerns are laid to rest.
The need of the hour, therefore, is to ensure increased productivity without compromising safety at any stage.
When adverse incidents do occur, the risks a company has to take can be pretty high. Besides the trauma the workers have to go through, the company may be financially crippled due to insurance costs, medical expenses, and loss of manpower hours. That’s not all; the consequences of these incidents can have a far-reaching effect, with companies requiring paying compensation premium to workers, besides taking a beating in community relations and company’s public image.
Whatever the cause of the incident is; the company should not undermine the condition of the worker. After all, he/she has to undergo a lot of mental trauma, besides facing financial crunches and the emotional turmoil the worker, as well as his/her entire family, has to go through until the recovery phase.
Lastly, it is in the best interest of the individual and the companies to implement and action effective PPE policies and procedures and self check is the best way forward for individuals to proactively protect themselves from dangers of a worksite.