Last year we created a blog looking at ski slope safety and whether PPE had in some instances become cool! Well this year we noticed on the slopes in France there are still a hard core that for some reason resist wearing protection that could undoubtable save their life. This after recently seeing what has happened to Michael Schumacher; who despite wearing a helmet is on a life support machine.
We have to ask what would it take to get this last hard core of people to wake up and recognise the risks. Strangely from what we could see on the slopes it wasn’t the better skiers that were taking the risks; rather it was those that really weren’t that competent and who were more likely to fall that failed to wear a helmet.
This translates often into the workplace in our experience as we see many workers who fail to wear the necessary eye or hearing protection. Many seem to think because they have not lost an eye or noticed their hearing is failing that means they are safe; yet watching the way they work shows clearly this is not the case.
When pointing this out to the persons supervising or managing the area they often think that just supplying the PPE is enough. The view is it is down to the individual as to whether they wear what they have been provided with; not a good approach if you want to keep your employees and business safe.
On the ski slopes some think they still have to right to decide about what they wear; which is true until something goes wrong and they find their insurances is invalidated. For the employer this choice more often than not needs to be removed; depending on what is identified in your risk assessments. Where PPE is used as the last line of defence then leaving the employee to decide really should not be an option.