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Send a message to your employees by wearing your PPE on site

by , 07 July 2014
Whenever you're on site, your employees are aware of your presence. They look at the way you talk to people, handle machinery and even the way you dress.

Now, I don't mean they're admiring your shoes and tie. No, they want to see if you follow your own safety rules when it comes to personal protective clothing (PPE).

If you don't, it sends the message your PPE rules are just a formality and not a legal requirement.
Let's look at how to send the right message when you're on site...

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Wearing PPE is more than just a piece of clothing, it's a safety message

We've told you before that the best way to lead a health and safety programme is by example. But we haven't explained the message you send your employees when you do this.
It's not just about showing your employees that 'the boss does it, so you must too'.  It sends the message that:
- You care about health and safety. By wearing your safety wear, it tells your employees you care about your safety and theirs;
- You wear PPE of the same standard as theirs. Your employees might think you get really good PPE for yourself and cheaper stuff for them. But if they see you wearing the same safety gear as them, it shows you don't put yourself above them.
- The rules apply to you too. You can't be above your own health and safety rules or your employees will never follow them. If they see you following your own rules, it'll encourage them to do the same. 
Never think that as the boss, you don't need to wear your protective clothing. It's as important for your safety as it is for your employees and it sends the right message to them.
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Do you have more than 20 employees?
Don't ignore this health and safety obligation or else!
The DoL will slap you with a R50 000 fine or 1 year in jail if you don't have a health and safety representative. 

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