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Getting people to wear the right head protection

2 min read: A chemical plant was having trouble getting their people to wear the correct head protection in the right parts of the plant. Bump caps were needed for small spaces where heads could bump on surrounding equipment while they worked and hard hats were required in open spaces were items could fall from height. Staff were often spotted wearing only bump caps in the open spaces, which put them at risk.

The management team had issued warnings of disciplinary action if people were spotted in the incorrect Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and some staff were actually disciplined, but the at risk behaviour continued. The reason was, it was very tempting for staff who had to cross the open space to just ‘pop across’ wearing only a bump cap because to get the correct head protection would require them to leave the building and cross the site to where the PPE was kept, which would mean a 15 minute round trip in 30 degree heat during the summer. So staff regularly took risks and ‘popped across’ the open space in a bump cap as it only took 1 minute, production wasn’t interrupted, they saved themselves a walk in hot weather and nobody had ever been hurt before, right?

To rectify this, the team leader installed two cabinets at both entrances to the open space containing a selection of bump caps and hard hats, which meant all they needed to do was switch hats as they moved from space to space.

By making it really easy for people to wear the right hat, he increased compliance from 32% to 71% compliance in just 2 weeks and up to 95% compliance within the month.

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