Why people decline to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Do you ever confront a person who works at a height and refuses to wear any protective equipment?; or workers who decline to wear a safety helmet on a construction site?

People sometimes decline to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for different reasons such as medical issues, unfit PPE, or just feeling uncomfortable. However, workers mostly refuse to wear safety gear due to a lack of knowledge and training. Even during the covid-19 pandemic, some people refuse to wear a face-mask. There are always some persons who don’t want to follow the rules and logic.

Refusal to wear PPE could cause a fatal accident or severe injuries. On the other hand, it could damage the company’s revenue and its reputation. Therefore employers must consider monitoring and training workers besides providing proper safety equipment.

First, you must figure out why some employees decline to wear personal protective equipment and then find solutions to persuade them to wear safety gear.

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Maybe they don't know how much refusing to wear PPE could be deadly.

Employers must train workers on how to use safety gear and how necessary wearing PPE is. Depending on the work activities, refusal to wear safety equipment could cause several accidents like falling from a height or inhaling toxic gas. There are some hazards that workers must be aware of:

NumberHazardsthe related PPE
1Welding AND Cutting sparks could harm the eyesSafety Glass
2Falling objects could strike the headSafety Helmet
3Inhaling a toxic gas could be fatalChemical Respirator
4Hand cutsSafety Gloves
5Exposure to excessive noise or vibrationHearing protection

Besides those instant and apparent hazards, some occupational health and safety risks could cause long term diseases like cancer and even diagnosed too late.
Don’t wait till some disasters happen in the workplace to provide PPE and then train the workers.

Workers could neglect or forget – Remind them to wear the essential PPE.

A medical condition could make wearing PPE be uncomfortable or even harmful. Some people have allergies to certain fabrics or have a skin condition that causes some materials irritating to wear. Dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis are just a few examples.

In such circumstances, the employer must provide suitable protective equipment for the worker. When proper safety gear is available, then workers hardly refuse to wear the PPE. If you can’t equip your employees with the appropriate safety gear, you should move them to other tasks.

people decline to wear Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment could be unfit!

Workers can choose their PPE better. Sometimes the safety gloves are tight or loose, and the safety shoes could be small or big. Therefore, if the workers choose their safety gear, they will be more persuaded to wear them.

You can allow workers to choose their safety gear from a catalog or online. The majority of women complain about their safety gloves and jacket. Their PPE is not usually fit, therefore find a way that workers could participate in choosing PPE.

On the other hand, providing safety gear from only a unique supplier will make you restricted, so try to buy suitable safety equipment from different suppliers.

There are several reasons when people decline to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

First, you wear, then ask others to wear PPE.

All HSE crew members and employers must wear safety gear wherever it is mandatory. Workers won’t wear personal protective equipment if they see that you don’t follow the regulation yourself, and you will lose the workers’ respect and trust.

On the other hand, hazards are dangerous for everyone, and you are not exceptional. Wherever wearing PPE is mandatory, all workers, visitors, and employers must wear the safety gear.

Wearing proper PPE can avoid injuries and fatal accidents. Therefore you must persuade workers to wear safety gear. If you know why some employees decline to wear personal protective equipment, you could solve the problem and make your workplace safer.