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Training employees to wear safety gear

OSHA guidelines require workers in a range of industries to wear personal protective equipment such as gloves, hard hats and safety glasses. However, some Illinois employers may have a hard time getting their workers to wear such equipment. The usual advice is to provide new, more comfortable PPE. When this fails to improve compliance, employers may need to consider the following tips.

One major reason why workers don't wear their PPE is because they think they don't need it. This mindset might be the result of inadequate training. Training should cover not only how to put on PPE but also why it is necessary. PPE trainers can create value propositions (as they say in marketing) through the use of personal stories that make an urgent appeal. These anectdotes will show workers that their employers actually believe in the value of PPE.

One-time training won't be enough, however. Trainers can give verbal refreshers and address situations where workers might be tempted to remove their PPE. Safety posters and video displays in the break room could also do the trick. As a last resort, trainers should conduct one-on-one talks with those who refuse to wear PPE. The point is to learn why they refuse rather than simply reprimand them.

It sometimes happens, however, that employees incur an on-the-job injury even while following all the safety guidelines. If no one is to blame, employees can file for workers' compensation. In fact, workers' comp benefits can even be paid out to employees who were to blame. To make the process easier, a victim may want to partner with an attorney.

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