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04/02/2012

The Importance Of Using Personal Protective Equipment In The Workforce


The Importance of using Personal Protective Equipment in the Workforce

Introduction

A given level of worker protection may generally be achieved by diverse means. For example, workers may achieve enhanced job security by means of seniority rights, by extensive layoff-notice requirements, by rights to retraining, or by guarantees of substantial severance pay (Edwards, 1993). Each right offers the worker some protection or assistance against unemployment: seniority, by increasing the probability that the worker will keep the current job; the layoff notice, by granting the worker more time to find other employment before becoming unemployed; retraining, by enhancing the worker's ability to obtain a replacement job; and severance pay, by supporting the worker while she explores new opportunities. In principle, each right could be set at such a level as to generate the same degree of worker protection. These rights then would become alternate ways of achieving an identical level of worker protection, yet they may have very different effects on productive efficiency. A given set of rights may involve very different costs, depending on whether it is applied or implemented at a national level or a plant level (Levine, 1995). Just like client’s employees need a company’s protection and care. An employee needs to feel that the firm cares for them and will make sure that nothing will challenge their welfare. The protection of employees is usually introduced through laws and policies that give the rights of employees. An employee’s right includes the right to be healthy and free from harm while doing a deed for the company. An employee needs to be protected from injury, sickness or any other life threatening situation that is why there is personal protective equipment in a company. This paper wants to understand the importance of using personal protective equipment in the workforce.

Personal protective equipment

There is a large gap between legislation and its enforcement, and many organizations continue to break the law with regard to health and safety. The Health and Safety Executive’s approach has been to persuade employers to achieve what is reasonably practicable. This pragmatic modus operandi is resulting in a gradually increasing degree of conformity. At a time when most organizations have major financial constraints, health and safety initiatives do need to be seen as realistic. The concept of risk seems difficult for many managers to grasp. It is simply the likelihood of a known hazard causing damage to health (Hanson, 2001). An area of labor-management conflicts pertains to the enforcement of work safety and health rules such as the wearing of protective equipment. Although it occurs less frequently than in other countries, workers sometimes forget about or disregard long-term or low-probability hazards and seek immediate comfort or convenience by not following these rules. In such a case, managers may remind, reprimand, or in some way penalize the worker. On occasion, managers mete out a severe form of punishment, particularly for repeat offenders, by capitalizing on the sense of honor or face and the dread of losing face. An unsatisfactory working environment may considerably increase the risk from manual handling activities (Fingret & Smith, 1995).

The usual problem is inadequate space, hindering a good approach to the task and involving additional twisting and maneuvering. Slippery or uneven floors may create further risk. The concept of individual capability is relatively new in general health and safety legislation and may need to be considered carefully as a general principle. It has the potential for excluding those who have a disability, or who are less fit, from many places of work. It should also be remembered that medical screening of asymptomatic employees has not been shown to reduce the risk of back injury (Gunningham & Johnstone, 1999). The assessment of individual capability is in three main areas: the requirements of the task, the individual’s state of health, and the individual’s previous training. The employer is required to take into account any known health problem which may affect the individual’s ability to undertake manual handling tasks. This could include previous or current back or other musculo-skeletal problems and cardiac or respiratory disease. Where there is doubt, it is sensible to seek medical advice. When seeking that advice, it is important to give a clear description of the job requirements. This is particularly so where there is no occupational health service since general medical practitioners may have only vague ideas about the actual task. It should not be left to the employee to describe the job to the doctor since this is fraught with possibilities of misinterpretation. Finally, the employer must consider whether the individual has received adequate training for the task. Certain handling work may be associated with other potential health risks which require the use of personal protective equipment, such as gloves or breathing apparatus. Any such equipment will increase the problems of the task and should form part of the risk assessment (Booth, Robson & Welham, 2004).

 The employer should have a hierarchy of risk for the various manual handling tasks which will enable prioritization of action required from high to low risk. Where significant risk has been identified, it is the responsibility of the employer to take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest level reasonably practicable. To comply with the regulations, where there is immediate risk of injury, recommendations must be implemented without delay. Where risk of injury is not immediate, there should be a planned implementation period. The approach to risk reduction will depend on the nature of the task and the circumstances (Heymann, 2003). Where the operation is relatively unchanging, improvement may be more appropriately brought about by changing the nature of the task. In other circumstances it may be appropriate to improve the handling techniques.  Increasing the size of doors or corridors may not be practical. However, considerable improvement can often be achieved by better housekeeping, such as removing obstructions from the work area. Where uneven floor or ground surfaces are largely unavoidable, as in outdoor work, every effort should be made to provide firm ground or suitable coverings in the work area. All employees engaged in manual handling operations, particularly those which have required full assessment, should receive information and training (Mares, 2004). The personal protective equipments consist of clothing that protects someone. It includes helmets, goggles, or other garment designed to protect a personnel's body from injury by sudden impacts, electrical, infection, hazards, chemicals, and heat. Personal protective equipments are mostly used for occupational safety and health purposes but it can also be used for sports activities. Personal protective equipments not only protect the employee’s well being, it brings the notion that the firm cares for the health and safety of the personnel. Personal protective equipments serve as a response to laws that protect the personnel’s well being.  Aside from protecting the personnel and helping build a good relationship with the personnel. PPE shows that a firm follows the laws and policies set by the society.

Conclusion

Just like client’s employees need a company’s protection and care. An employee needs to feel that the firm cares for them and will make sure that nothing will challenge their welfare. The protection of employees is usually introduced through laws and policies that give the rights of employees. An employee’s right includes the right to be healthy and free from harm while doing a deed for the company. An employee needs to be protected from injury, sickness or any other life threatening situation that is why there is personal protective equipment in a company. The personal protective equipments consist of clothing that protects someone. It includes helmets, goggles, or other garment designed to protect a personnel's body from injury by sudden impacts, electrical, infection, hazards, chemicals, and heat. Personal protective equipments are mostly user for occupational safety and health purposes but it can also be used for sports activities. PPE makes sure that a person would not be seriously hurt while he/she is doing some work or engaging in a strenuous activity such as sports. Personal protective equipments not only protect the employee’s well being, it brings the notion that the firm cares for the health and safety of the personnel. By showing that the firm cares for the personnel’s well being, the firm creates a better relationship with the personnel. This will motivate the personnel and will encourage them to give better services or provide high quality products. By showing that the firm cares for the well being of the personnel, the firm gets a better image and will attract more clients.  Personal protective equipments serve as a response to laws that protect the personnel’s well being.  Aside from protecting the personnel and helping build a good relationship with the personnel. PPE shows that a firm follows the laws and policies set by the society.

References

Booth, N., Robson, C. & Welham, J. (2004). Tolley's managing a

     diverse workforce. Croydon, England: LexisNexis.

Edwards, E. (1993). Rights at work: Employment relations in the

     post-union era. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

Fingret, A. & Smith, A. (1995). Occupational health: A practical

     guide for managers. New York: Routledge.

Gunningham, N. & Johnstone, R. (1999). Regulating workplace

     safety: System and sanctions. Oxford: Oxford University

     Press.

Hanson, M.A. (Ed.). (2001). Contemporary ergonomics 2001.

     London: Taylor & Francis. 

Heymann, J. (Ed.). (2003). Global inequalities at work: Work's

     impact on the health of individuals, families, and

     societies. New York: Oxford University Press.

Levine, D. (1995). Reinventing the workplace: How business and

     employees can both win:  Brookings Institution.

Mares, R. (Ed.). (2004). Business and human rights: A

     compilation of documents. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff.

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