Occupational Safety is the first thing that spring to mind in the” Occupational Safety and Health” definition in most of country in the world. The occupational health side is not come to mind except the most developed regions.
“Personal Protective Equipment” is the first thing come to mind when we talk about “Occupational Safety and Health” If we evaluate the Occupational Safety and Health as a profession or as a person that interest particularly, we have entered into a non-terminal area. But for a non-professional person, the first description is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Being the first thing that come to mind is quite normal for PPE’s, because PPE are at the heart of occupational safety. Today, in a very simple structure work, repair work or a technical process usage of personal protective equipment save lives. I do not have any statistical data, but ı am sure that the ratio of saved life and prevented potential injury is quite high.
Almost all of us know or heard about someone who have an occupational accident. Deaths and injuries as a result of electric shock…
Deaths and injuries in construction…
Deaths and injuries during any operation…
To be brief, we all live the consequences of accidents experienced in doing business in our constantly environment.
However the seamiest thing of this death and/or injuries is disuse of Personal Protective Equipment. The Personal Protective Equipment is not using because of “Nothing would happen to me” logic and post-haste jobs unfortunately. Of course there is a “adolescence” issue. There is a obsession of lose of adolescence when they use PPE.
But unfortunately, “nothing would happen to me”, “adolescence” and “post-haste jobs” do not protect us from the accidents. And unfortunately as a consequence people lose their lives, become out of function for rest of their life, and they condemn their selves to an unhappy life.
There is a easy way to get rid of this… Using Personal Protection Equipment…
In our conversations with my employer friends especially employers that in high risk area of business in our country, I realize that their biggest complaint is being unable to force to use the personal protective equipment to staff.. It is not avoid of supplying or not to make them use.
Employees are resisting the use of PPE;
“I can not work comfortable with Helmet”
“Boots is preventing me to move freely, it is heavy”
“Gloves with tools as comfortable as I can not use bare hands”
“Mask make me sweat… I feel strange with it”
These are descriptions of the resistance, defenses, excuses…
Yes, it is not difficult to understand these. Many of them have basis. You can work more comfortable without PPE. It is impossible to not acknowledge workers to be right. But when the issue comes to life, not to comfortable working, where’s the harm of work with a little uncomfortable…!
We need to explain it better. We need to provide a better training for it. Telling the spiritual side of the work should be used instead of technical data to provide motivate of the usage. They should be motivated with telling that what they could lose.
Also there is some important issues that manufacturers should be thinking;
PPE manufacturers need to shape their works on this issue to ease of use.
They should focus on producing practical products and ease of use products.
They should add aesthetics to products that they produce.
About aesthetic… The helmets that I saw in our exhibition made me so happy. In our stand firm that i am found in employer position, when I saw that they are actually a helmet I really like the baseball caps placed by my co-workers. My co-workers also were using them relishingly. They were dressed in stylish protective shoes. it was really gratifying to see a subject which troubles us for a long time to see such a simple way to resolve.
The main thing is using the Personal Protective Equipment and increase the usage awareness. The task is fall to all of us. Not only employers or PPE manufacturers all of us are responsible to raise awareness.
I wish you a healthy and safe days.
Marmara Fair Org.