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What to do if you see your employees misusing their PPE

by , 07 July 2014
Your employees can get very creative with PPE, like using their hard hats as stools during lunch break, but that doesn't make it okay for them to misuse it.

After all, any misuse could lead to damage. And it'll be ineffective and won't protect them in an accident.

So if you see any of your employees misusing their PPE, here's what you need to do.

*********** Hot off the press  ************
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. 

If your employees misuse their PPE, it's time to retrain them

When you give your employees PPE, you need to train them on when, how and why they must use it. 
At first, they'll probably be very careful with it and use it properly. Unfortunately, bad habits creep in over time.
When you see this, you need to retrain your employees and remind them about how important it is to take care of their safety gear.
Without their protective clothing, they could be seriously hurt in a number of accidents. So if they damage their safety wear, they're putting themselves in danger.

But if your employees continue to misuse their PPE, you must take serious action

If your employees keep misusing their PPE, it's time to discipline them. Depending on your disciplinary code, you can give them a verbal or written warning. 
If they fail to use their safety equipment correctly, you can eventually dismiss them for damaging company property.
Just ensure before you take any disciplinary action, all your employee have read and signed the disciplinary code.
This makes it legally binding and gives you the authority to discipline them if they break the rules. This is the best way to handle any employees who constantly misuse their PPE.
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Attention! Health and Safety specialists face fines imposed by the DoL!
Recently, the Department of Labour (DoL) conducted over 190,000 impromptu health and safety inspections. It even shut down a company for failing to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
Employers have been warned that there will be many more inspections. 

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