PPE Equipment Advice – 2 Important Questions Every Business Owner Should Ask

Purchasing and issuing PPE equipment is not the way to reduce the risk of injury in the workplace. Items such as safety knives and work gloves may well be designed and industrial equipments suppliers sold as a means to help lower the number or severity if accidents and injuries, but simply having personal safety equipment like this isn’t the end of the matter.
In fact there are two important questions which business manager or site managers need to ask themselves before even beginning to hand out safety equipment such as work knives and safety gloves. In this article I’ll look at the two questions and provide some indication of the issues involved when considering each.
“Will you be issuing PPE equipment or clothing to individuals, or making it accessible to everybody?”
This is one area of safety which often sees assumptions made before any real consideration is given to the alternative solutions. Safety equipment such as knives can either be issued individually to people, so that each person who needs to use a safety knife has their own one issued for their sole use, or a stock of knives can be made available for people to access when they need to. If you only need a few knives to be used at any one time then it may well seem more economical to have a stock of just a few, and for people to borrow one when they need to.
However, this tends to reduce any personal sense of responsibility for the maintenance and checking of the equipment. By having equipment issued to every single person who may need to use it, each worker becomes solely responsible for the checking, maintenance, problem reporting and storage of the knife, significantly increasing the likelihood that any damaged or defective PPE equipment will be reported appropriately.
“Where will the equipment be global first aid kit stored when not in use?”
One of the critical factors which should be considered is the proximity of the storage to the location where the equipment will be used. Clearly it is preferable for things such as safety knives to be stored close to where they will be used, rather than potentially increasing any risk by having people walk around with knives, albeit safety ones.
It’s also a fact that if safety equipment is a long way from where it’s needed there is an increased likelihood that workers simply won’t bother, and will attempt to carry out the work less safely.

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