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How do you get your crew to wear safety gear?

Falls are the cause of 20% of all job-related injuries. Of workers killed by falls, 54% had no access to fall protection and 23% had fall protection equipment, but were not using it.

When it comes to ensuring that your employees are not only wearing safety gear but wearing it properly, there are several tips to help the company avoid fines and also making sure the employees make it home safely at the end of each day.

It starts at the top. If you are the leader of the company or the supervisor on site, you need the authority to make the employees wear safety gear and there needs to be repercussions if they do not.

Management at your company needs to consider safety not just a top priority, but an essential duty before any work starts. If management prioritizes safety, then it trickles down and becomes part of the culture of the company. If top management doesn’t believe it’s important or it’s not portrayed to the employees, then it’s likely they won’t believe in it either. The more importance you place on it personally and in your job, the more your employees will as well.

On your job sites you want to have a “safety first” mentality. You want to train all of your employees on safety equipment and the importance of it. Share with your workers how important it is to their personal wellness. At the end of the day you want all of your employees to make it home safely to their families. Stories of how accidents affect the individual and their family is always good to share to help put things in perspective.

Malta Dynamics offers a four hour Fall Protection Awareness Training that is designed for individuals with frequent (daily or weekly) exposure to fall hazards. Participants gain knowledge and skills necessary to identify and avoid hazards associated with elevated work locations. The course features a series of presentations, demonstrations and hands-on exercises. Registration information can be found here.

Share with the worker the negative impact to the company if you are cited for a violation, there are fines and reputation damage. For example, you can tell them that if the company gets caught not using safety gear you can be shut down, or potentially fined thousands of dollars per day until it has been corrected.

On average, the maximum penalty amounts are as follows:

  1. Serious violations – $13,260 per violation
  2. Failure to abate – $13,260 per violation
  3. Willfull or repeated – $132,598

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists their top ten most frequently cited standards in FY 2019. That list can be found below.

  1. Fall protection, construction
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
  4. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry
  5. Respiratory protection, general industry
  6. Ladders, construction
  7. Powered industrial trucks, general industry
  8. Fall Protection–Training Requirements
  9. Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements
  10. Eye and Face Protection

More statistics along with standard numbers for each of the categories listed above can be found on OSHA’s website.

Another angle you can use to explain to your employees is that if they want to work for the company and make a good living, being safe has to be their top priority because you as a company want them to be safe. The company also wants to pay the employees well along with giving them raises for good performance. However, you would be unable to do that if you are paying thousands of dollars a day in fines because the employees won’t wear their safety gear.

Some companies start each day with tool box talks. This is a good way to go over what is going on in the safety world. Topics such as near misses on job sites from the day before or if you saw a worker without their safety glasses or harnesses on. This allows the supervisor to talk through with the employees why wearing the equipment is necessary for them on the job site.

Talk with your workers, make sure you get their input, understand their work and furnish them with what they need. Safety products are not meant to be cumbersome and in the way. The right safety gear is another tool to perform work in a professional manner. Be sure to get the correct features and comforts that your crew deserves.

Malta Dynamics safety gear can be found at https://maltadynamics.com/.

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