Don’t Turtle at the Thought of PPE


You often hear about employees getting hurt on the job, disciplined and/or fired for not following the safety rules, so it’s nice to hear when people take a moment to celebrate the victories.

Since 1946, Bullard’s Turtle Club has been celebrating people who escaped serious injury on the job by wearing a hardhat. Supervisors or safety managers can nominate their employees for membership in the Turtle Club after the incident is reported. Each member receives a new hard hat, a membership card and certificate, and a Turtle Club pin. It’s a lifetime membership and there are no dues or fees.

The Turtle Club Pledge is to “Practice safety, wear head protection when necessary and to conscientiously encourage others to do so.”

In a recent survey conducted by Kimberly-Clark Professional, 98% of safety professionals have witnessed people not wearing PPE when they should have been. When workers are in a state of rushing, fatigue, frustration or complacency they often “forget” to wear PPE and that leaves them more vulnerable to serious injury.

Fortunately, there is a free PPE guide to address the human factors in your PPE program and ensure employees wear their PPE when they need them most.

As a last line of defense, PPE is there to protect you when all else fails. Critical decisions like taking a shortcut, relying on memory or rationalizing risk increase the probability that PPE won’t be worn when it is needed. SafeStart training provides the awareness, motivation and skills to reduce errors and improve cognizance when making these critical decisions.

Bullard, the maker of the first universally-accepted hard hat, has other notable programs that celebrate good safety choices: the “Save-a-Life Club” awards firefighters that use Bullard thermal imagers to save someone’s life and similarly, the S.O.A.R. (Save or Apprehension Recognition) program recognizes law enforcement that apprehend a felon or save the life of a civilian using Bullard thermal imagers.

Like Bullard, SafeStart believes it’s important to measure our clients’ safety successes, whether it’s going 1000 days without injuries or a dramatic reduction in overall injury rate. The Turtle Club is proof that following the appropriate safety measure can protect workers from injury and that helping employees wear PPE makes a huge difference—and could even save their lives.