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How to deal with an employee that’s refusing to wear their PPE

How to deal with an employee that’s refusing to wear their PPE

The vast majority of workers understand that PPE is something that’s essential to ensure their safety while on the job, but unfortunately there always seems to be someone who doesn’t think that they should be forced to wear it.

By not wearing the correct PPE at work, not only could your employee be putting their own safety at risk, but also the safety of everyone else.

If you’re struggling to get your employees to understand the importance of PPE in their role, here’s what we suggest doing to convince them of its necessity.

Explain the consequences of not wearing PPE

The main reason that PPE is enforced in the workplace is because it’s one of the easiest things you can do to protect yourself at work.

If you’re not wearing the correct PPE, your employee could face being struck by falling objects, breathing contaminated air, getting chemical burns or electric shocks and being exposed to excessive noise or vibration that could cause them harm.

When wearing PPE, you’re less likely to be seriously injured at work, and it can also help to prevent future issues like hearing loss or occupational asthma.

Not only is PPE important for the employee, but it’s also a legal requirement of your business, and you could face legal action if the employee were to suffer an injury due to their lack of PPE.

Refusal to wear PPE is grounds for dismissal

Although you don’t want to come across too harsh straight away, you should let your worker know that if they don’t wear PPE it can be considered gross misconduct (unless they have a good reason for not wearing it i.e. religion or health reasons) and you can dismiss them.

Make PPE easier for your employees

Think about what steps you can take as a manager to improve the uptake of PPE in your organisation, and how you can make it easier.

For example, you could let your employees choose their own PPE from a catalogue of garments to give them more ownership and independence over what they wear.

You could also lead by example, if you wear PPE at all times it will become much more normal for your employees to do the same.

Finally, why not incorporate more training to improve awareness of the needs of PPE? People may be more convinced by external experts to wear the correct workwear.

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