PPE is an abbreviation with which we’ve all gotten familiar in recent years. Certain professions demand that safety precautions are taken, and protective helmets, gloves and clothing can all play a role in protecting both employees and customers or clients.
What is PPE?
Personal Protective Equipment can include a range of safety items, each with different applications in a variety of industries. Anything that you’re using to protect yourself can be considered PPE, though the term is mostly used to describe wearable garments. For example, protective gloves might protect the skin against corrosive or irritant materials, whereas protective goggles might protect the eyes against flying particles and sparks.
What are the Benefits of PPE?
The most obvious benefit of PPE is that it reduces the risk of an injury. If an object falls from height onto your head, then the impact of the accident can be vastly reduced. In some cases, personal protective equipment might be the difference between life and death.
Equipment of this sort can also have a knock-on psychological consequences. Employees who feel that their safety has been taken care of will feel freer to focus on the task at hand, and their attention won’t be split. Of course, this doesn’t mean that protective equipment is a substitute for vigilance and paying attention – it just means that staff who feel safer are more productive.
Employees who feel safe in their work are also more likely to stick around, which means that PPE might also help you to mitigate employee turnover in the long-term. In the short term, the availability of PPE might reduce absenteeism – which is a side benefit of good practice when it comes to safety in general. We should bear in mind that staff are more aware than ever of the importance of safety equipment.
The availability of personal protective equipment can also help to enhance a business’s reputation. This, in turn, can aid in recruitment efforts. If your prospective employees understand that their safety will be taken seriously, they’ll be that much likelier to accept a position. In short, the availability of PPE makes it easier to attract new employees, as well as easier to keep the ones you already have.
Finally, we should say that any company which develops a healthy culture is more likely to be more prosperous in general. If a business emphasises the wellbeing of its staff, and the importance of risk awareness, then this attitude may well inform other areas of the business. Staff will be more likely to hold one another to account when it comes to safety and to take an interest in one another’s welfare.
Provided that this culture is not allowed to become nannying, and that it’s always proportional to the risk, this can only be beneficial to the business more broadly.