How to Persuade Your Staff to Wear Personal Protective
If you have a situation where staff members are not wearing PPE at the appropriate time and in the appropriate place, the first stage is to ask them why they are not wearing it. Normally, the range of responses will include, 'It's too uncomfortable.' 'I have been doing it this way for 20 years and never hurt myself.' 'I can't see the point of it.' 'I forgot.' And so on. Without a doubt, human nature being what it is, the easy way or the comfortable way will always be the first choice before the slightly harder way or the less comfortable way.
One of the ways to increase the use of PPE is to talk to your team about the consequences of not wearing it. For example, ask them if it is fair and reasonable to wear ear protection in noisy areas. You may get the response, 'I am already deaf so it won't make any difference.' Point out at this stage that the newer people will mimic behavior so they will copy a bad example. Ask them if they had their time again would they like their hearing returned.
On the other hand, the majority of people will readily agree that it's fair and reasonable to wear ear protection in noisy areas. You then have to ask the question, 'What will be the consequences of not wearing ear protection?' This way, it's possible to set in place a consequence for that unsafe behavior. Gradually you can go through each item of PPE during your safety talks and achieve two objectives, firstly, get agreement that wearing PPE is fair and reasonable and, secondly, get agreement of the consequences that should occur if people don't wear it.
That may be necessary to follow this method several times before an impact is made. Gradually, you will find that the levels of compliance will rise until the majority of people will raise the situation with the minority who were not wearing their protective equipment.
Ask yourself, if you stated in front of all your work mates that you thought that wearing PPE was fair and reasonable, what would be the chances of you complying with that statement? I would suggest that it would be very high. It is called a psychological contract and is very effective.
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