The range of PPE available on the market is enormous—and the number of compliance requirements that mandate and regulate their use is just as dizzying. Add in the array of factors that can cause employees to forgo using their personal protective equipment and it becomes clear why PPE is one of the most-searched safety terms on the Internet.
Fortunately, there are several different types of resources to help EHS managers and other safety professionals contend with PPE challenges. If you’ve realized your workers have issues with PPE compliance and you don’t know where to turn then try consulting these resources. It could be the first step in solving your workplace’s problems with personal protective equipment.
1. OSHA’s Non-mandatory Compliance Guidelines
The United States Department of Labor provides non-mandatory compliance guidelines and can be very helpful in developing a routine for safety checks. It will also help you understand which PPE is crucial for the specific work being conducted in your workplace. The guidelines will suggest what to look out for during walkthroughs and what to do before choosing a new piece of PPE, like interpreting the level of the hazard’s impact and analyzing the possibility of exposure.
The guidelines also note how imperative it is to always monitor the hazard to ensure the PPE’s relevance. Additionally, the OSHA guidelines underline the need to order adjustable equipment (because fit and comfort are important factors in equipment performance and in influencing PPE compliance).
2. University-based Health and Safety Resources
Many universities have health and safety resources available online, particularly if they offer medical programs or laboratory-based curriculums. In addition to featuring and explaining a variety of PPE, universities often offer many useful videos. These programs focus on things like hand and eye protection and may be useful for organizations running into related issues.
If you can’t find anything online then try calling a university with a relevant program. In addition to pointing you in the right direction, some universities are open to partnerships with the private sector. If this is the case then you could receive more personalized help.
3. CCOHS’s Designing an Effective PPE Program
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has a valuable page on their website that discusses creating a strong PPE program. It covers protection strategies such as how to prevent contact with a hazardous substance or piece of machinery, and what type of equipment to use when the likelihood of contact requires it. It also provides suggestions to help companies implement their safety programs successfully, reviewing topics such as open communication with workers, adequate training and equipment maintenance.
4. SafeStart’s PPE Guide
SafeStart’s PPE guide is available through our website. We want to make companies aware that providing the proper PPE does not guarantee worker safety. For equipment to be worn consistently, there are several factors that need to be adequately dealt with such as complacency, worker fatigue, rushing and other issues related to human behavior. We also suggest what to look for in PPE. including style, ergonomics, ease of use and how frequently it requires replacement. Finally, the guide discusses your options and possible solutions to PPE non-compliance.