Employers must always make sure that their staff is PPE compliant and this is for a few reasons. First and foremost, PPE should be worn to protect the worker against various different threats that will depend on their line of work, but this is also important from a legal compliance standpoint. You do not want to get caught out because your staff does not wear PPE as this could be costly in more ways than one.
Health & Safety Issues
There are many industries in the UK that are hazardous and the pandemic has obviously led to a sharp rise in ill health. In 2020/2021, 1.7 million workers suffered from work-related ill health and 0.4 million experienced a non-fatal injury at work. This is problematic for employers because it leads to time off, reduced output, and even high staff turnover. In many cases, PPE could prevent these illnesses and accidents from causing damage and keep your workforce happy and healthy. Unfortunately, PPE compliance is not always high and a study from 2012 found that 82% of safety professionals had observed workers failing to wear PPE.
An Employer’s Challenge
This means that as an employer, you need to not only make sure that there is PPE available for your staff but that they are wearing it when they should be. If PPE is available but the workers choose not to wear it, you will find that it will still be framed as the employer’s fault if there is an incident. This is why you need to source from reputable PPE suppliers and educate your team on the importance of wearing PPE and place signage around the workplace so that there are constant reminders.
There can be exemptions with good reason (medical or religious), but if there is no good reason then it could be filed as gross misconduct and this needs to be avoided at all costs. This is why you want to create a culture of safety in the workplace and to get staff to hold each other accountable for wearing PPE.
Consequences of Non-Compliance
There are many consequences to staff not being PPE compliant. This can lead to injury, sickness, disability, and even death. Health and safety issues can lead to time off work, low motivation levels, and high staff turnover. In addition to health and safety, you then have legal consequences which will fall at your feet and could result in hefty fines and penalties.
As you can see, PPE compliance is hugely important for more reasons than one. You do not want to take the risk when it comes to the health and safety of your workers, which is why you must make sure that you are compliant and your team understands the utmost importance of wearing PPE.