With summer upon us and the mercury rising, it can be tempting for employees to stop wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), which often becomes uncomfortable in hot temperatures, but according to workplace equipment supplier Slingsby there are now more products than ever before to help workers stay safe and cool at work.
As part of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, employers must provide appropriate clothing and equipment whenever there are health and safety risks that can’t be controlled in other ways.
Lee Wright, Marketing Director of Slingsby, which supplies more than 35,000 products through its catalogue and website explains: “The summer months often present a challenge where PPE is concerned because it can be tempting for workers to take off hard hats and high visibility or protective clothing in order to cool down. Employers have to accept that employees don’t like wearing clothing that is uncomfortable or ill-fitting and ultimately PPE is completely pointless if staff aren’t going to wear it.
“When buying PPE, we always advise employers to consider the materials the product is made from, the style and fit as well as the overall design. There are a huge range of innovative materials to choose from that are specifically designed to keep the wearer cool and dry while being tough and long-lasting. However, in some cases it may be necessary to offer employees more than one brand or style in order to cater for everyone and it is often beneficial to include key members of the team in the decision making process when buying PPE.”
Lee adds: “Many workplaces are also introducing incentive programmes and safety committees that encourage employees to look out for colleagues and speak out when they see potentially dangerous activities or people flouting rules surrounding PPE. These type of initiatives can have an immediate impact on both safety standards and PPE.”