How to improve safety culture and awareness of PPE?

Assessing the current situation

To enhance the safety culture and awareness of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), especially for aerial lift operators, starting with a comprehensive assessment of the current situation is essential.

This may involve analyzing past accidents involving aerial lifts, observing current practices in the field, and consulting with your employees about their perception of work-related risks.

For example, check if operators always wear their safety harnesses and whether they are trained to identify areas where using the lift is inappropriate due to unstable ground conditions.

Setting clear and realistic goals

After the initial assessment, setting specific goals to improve safety around aerial lifts is a good approach. One goal could be to achieve a zero accident rate with work stoppages due to falls over a year.

Another goal might relate to training: ensuring that 100% of operators have undergone certified training on aerial lift safety within the next six months. These objectives should be clearly communicated to the team and integrated into performance evaluations.

Providing training and education

Training and educating aerial lift operators are mandatory. Operation training can include practical training on how to check the integrity of the lift before use, the correct use of PPE such as safety harnesses, and familiarization with emergency procedures.

Monitoring and rewarding progress

Setting up a system to monitor progress can help maintain momentum. This could involve monthly compliance checks and evaluations of safety practices in the field.

Using a mobile app to report daily PPE usage can be an effective way to collect data. To encourage continuous improvement, establishing a reward system for teams that maintain the best safety practices can be very motivating.

Addressing challenges and issues

Being aware of encountered challenges should also be part of this culture. Clearly outlining what hinders operator safety allows for faster and more effective solutions.

If a lack of training is identified, for instance, additional workshops can be organized. In case of resistance to change, an awareness campaign highlighting the benefits of PPE and safety might be necessary. It’s important to stay open to staff feedback and be ready to adjust procedures if new types of aerial lifts or PPE technologies are introduced in the workplace.

These steps form a continuous cycle of improvement which, when rigorously applied, can transform the safety culture around aerial lifts and significantly reduce accidents and incidents.