Don’t Underestimate the Value of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – 3/18/24

Safety E-Quick Tip

OWYN Safety Management Platform

Don’t Underestimate the Value of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Don’t wait for an incident to remind you of the importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like hand, head, eye/face, foot, hearing, and respiratory protection.

If you ‘ve read our QuickTips over the years you’ve probably heard this story, but it bears repeating.

I was doing a safety class years ago and we were talking about the value of a hard hat when there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns.

Everyone had a lot to say about why they didn’t believe there was any real value to hard hats and the discussion was really headed the wrong direction until this man, a construction worker stood up and said he was tired of listening and he wanted to say something.

This man was 6’3 or so, maybe 250, all muscle and shoulders that could barely fit through a door, so everyone was listening.

He went on to describe an incident where a hammer fell from above, hit his shoulder and fell to the floor.

What happened then was he pulled back his short sleeve shirt toward his neck to show a scar on his shoulder caused by the hammer. A large scar that looked like I was the one stitched him back together.

For most people the hammer would have never hit their shoulder after bouncing off the hard hat, but like I said he had some really broad shoulders.

He ended with this is what happened to my shoulder, can you imagine what it would have done to my head.

He sat down and there was silence in the room. 

That was the end of my discussion on the value of hard hats.

We often find excuses to avoid using PPE, such as discomfort, maintenance hassle, inconvenience, unavailability, unflattering appearance, or skepticism about its effectiveness.

However, these excuses can prove costly.

Instead, prioritize PPE and overcome these hesitations. Remember, it only takes a moment for an accident to occur. Act now to ensure your safety:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the specific PPE required for your role and environment.
  2. Invest in high-quality, comfortable PPE that suits your needs.
  3. Practice proper PPE maintenance to ensure cleanliness and longevity.
  4. Keep essential PPE readily accessible to avoid excuses for non-compliance.
  5. Embrace PPE as a vital shield against potential hazards, focusing on safety rather than appearance.

By using PPE properly and when it’s needed, you safeguard yourself from preventable incidents and create a safer work environment for all.

Choose safety today to avoid regrets in the future.

Employee QuickTip

Although employers must provide and pay for most PPE you should Wear it, attend training session on it and care for, clean and maintain PPE, and inform your supervisor when there is need for repair or replacement of PPE.

Employer/Management QuickTip

So, who’s responsible for buying PPE. The employer is responsible in most cases. Checkout this OSHA handout for more detailed information.

Have you received your first Safety E-QuickTip and would like to check out some QuickTips from the past? Check out our Safety E-QuickTips Archive Page on our website.

If you know of someone or a company that might benefit from receiving Safety E-QuickTips, please take a moment to share this with them so they can sign-up today.

Thanks for Reading and Please – “Be Safe this Week”.