5 Tips to Ensure Workers Are Fitted with the Right Gear

Safety managers have one of the most important roles in the workplace – they are responsible for maintaining a safe, OSHA-compliant environment for employees to perform their professional duties. In order to achieve this objective, safety managers must help employees find, access and use the appropriate safety equipment. While each and every work environment is different, there are some basic tips that safety managers can follow to ensure workers are fitted with the right gear.

Tip #1: Evaluate
Safety managers should constantly evaluate employees on the job to ensure they are using the right gear and equipment. Standing back and watching the wheels of a company turn will provide some key information as to the potential dangers in the workplace.

Are employees wearing hard hats in the forklift area? Are they wearing ANSI Z87.1 safety eyewear when using power tools? These are things you need to be aware of as a safety manager, and performing routine workplace evaluations will provide you with this information.

Tip #2: Retrain
Another step safety managers can take to ensure employees are fitted with the right safety gear is to retrain them. It's not uncommon for employees to forget some of the basics of their original training, leaving them vulnerable to injury. Sending them through an ongoing training program, however, will keep safety precautions and guidelines fresh in their mind.

Tip #3: Update Your Safety Equipment
A third tip for safety managers is to keep your safety equipment and gear updated. If it's old, worn and damaged, it's not going to perform as well as new equipment. Hats, gloves, goggles, respirators, welding masks, etc. need to be 100 percent functional and free of damage.

Also, some safety equipment in the workplace will likely get lost or destroyed, leaving employees to work without the necessary safety gear. Replacing these items with new ones will keep your employees safe while protecting the company from fines or sanctions handed down by the OSHA.

Tip #4: Recognize Employees
Of course, safety managers should also recognize employees who constantly work using the right safety equipment. Perhaps you could implement an employee-of-the-month program in your company (assuming you don't have one already), taking into account safety as a deciding factor. Other employees will notice that safety plays a role in your company's employee-of-the-month program, so they'll naturally place an emphasis on safety as well. You can even go one step further by rewarding 'safe' employees with a trophy, plaque, gift card, or company-branded gear.

Tip #5: Create a Safety Bulletin Board
If you haven't done so already, build a safety bulletin board in your workplace. This will serve as a general hub of safety-related information. You can include potential work hazards, what type of safety equipment is required for certain machines and areas, phone numbers to the poison control hotline, and news about upcoming renovation projects.

Brian Smith is an avid blogger and journalist who writes for The Safety Company's blog, which is available at http://safetyblog.safetycompany.com/. When he's not blogging, he enjoys camping trips with his young sons, Connor and Aaron.

Posted by Brian Smith on Nov 25, 2013