Why Don't People Wear Fall Protection?
There are many reasons why people should wear fall protection, yet countless workers still avoid wearing fall safety equipment. These same workers will blame the employer or the equipment and always look for every reason or excuse for not wearing it. The fact of the matter is that this equipment saves lives daily, and should be worn at all times.
Excuses Workers Give for NOT Wearing Fall Protection Equipment
Some people claim that the equipment is simply uncomfortable. And let’s face it, this is true when you buy the cheap stuff! Discomfort can be a really distracting thing to deal with all day long. To encourage workers to wear their fall protection, buy good quality, comfortable equipment. There are also many add-ons available for harnesses that can dramatically increase comfort such as the G-Back Comfort System. Before you put your safety budget together, ask yourself the question, “would I want to wear this equipment all day.” Considering the comfort of your employees will go a long way in encouraging them to wear their fall protection.
Limits Ability to Work
Depending upon the work that you do, the protective gear may actually limit your ability to do the work that you need to do. This is probably the most common reason why people do not use the equipment. Customers and employers want to have the job done correctly the first time, so it is important to do whatever you need to do to accomplish this goal. Too many people sacrifice their safety for a better product.
A good fall protection training consultant and also many product specialists can help determine the best and most versatile equipment for your particular application. If you're new to using fall protection equipment, these can be the best resources available. The right equipment should not inhibit someone’s ability to do their job. Instead it will increase their confidence and allow them to work without fearing for their life.
Makes Me Feel Less Safe
It is possible that the required fall protection equipment actually makes people less safe. Sometimes this fear stems from a lack of training. Employers must make sure that the equipment is also up-to-date. Helmets, ropes, harnesses and other workplace necessities must be checked at least once a month to ensure the safety of the workers.
The last thing you want to do is create a false sense of security. Make sure that people follow the correct maintenance procedures and replacement rules for their equipment. Many people fall behind on this because they feel that the equipment still works. It is imperative that workers are safe, so the equipment must be changed when it is time and according to the manufacturers guidelines.
Adds Time & Cost Without Adding Value
Still other people do not wear the protective gear because it costs time and money. The truth is that this equipment is expensive, and it does not give any additional money to the worker. It is not cost-effective, but it does save lives. It also takes time to put the equipment on properly and take it off. Workers could spend up to one hour per day putting on and taking off the safety equipment. This is time that they are not working, so it puts a strain on many other areas.
This excuse needs to be addressed with culture change and focus on life over productivity. Safety certainly does add overhead to any business, but that can be made up for by using this to improve the company image and working with major companies that insist on safe working policies.
Safety should be the primary concern for everyone in the workplace. By addressing these matters in a safety huddle, an open door policy on safety can be established. Communication about safety that is company wide can help foster safer working habits for employees.