Joe Lewis, Product Category Manager - Hayley PPE
Based at our Halesowen HQ, Joe oversees the development of the Group’s PPE
business by supporting branches in identifying and pursuing opportunities and creating strong, long-lasting relationships with market-leading suppliers.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be found in workplaces right across the globe. Whatever the industry, be it construction, food production, or distribution, and whatever the environment be it a factory, warehouse, or building site, PPE plays a pivotal role in protecting the workforce. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) recommends PPE to be used as a last resort, after other preventative measures such as training, instruction, and supervision have been put into place to encourage staff to work safely. It’s impossible to eliminate risk via these measures alone, and so, PPE is a necessity in any modern business where personnel encounter risk.
A Hayley PPE Open Day is designed for workplaces with 50 or more staff and carries no financial cost to the host company. On the day, a member of the trained Hayley PPE team visits the site to demonstrate PPE products and health & safety best practices, associated with the work involved. Open days provide a range of benefits for the business and its staff. Here, I want to discuss a handful of those.
1. Engage staff in the PPE they wear
An engaged employee is one who feels fully involved in and values what they do, and therefore, they carry-out duties while taking pride both in their work and their employer. Employees who are engaged in their work will also care about their safety and the PPE that they are required to wear. By hosting a Hayley PPE open day, employers show that they are serious about the safety of their workforce. This helps boost both engagement and compliance among staff.
Engaging staff in the PPE that they wear is an essential step in ensuring that vital safety products are used to their maximum effectiveness, ensuring better protection for users. In 2016, analysis conducted by Gallup, found that places of work enjoying higher employee engagement levels reported fewer accidents.¹ The analysis concluded that a correlation can be drawn between staff engagement and how safe they are at work.
2. Develop staff understanding of PPE importance
An open day, led by an expert from Hayley Group’s dedicated PPE team, helps to develop staff understanding of hazards in the workplace and the importance of PPE in preventing hazards from causing harm. With a better understanding across the workforce, awareness of why and how PPE should be used effectively is enhanced. The knowledge gained at a Hayley PPE open day empowers staff to make more informed decisions when faced with risk during the workday, meaning fewer accidents occur. Whether this takes the form of wearing a high-vis jacket at all times in the warehouse, or always wearing reinforced boots on-site.
3. Receive feedback from staff
One of the most common reasons given by staff to justify their disengagement concerning safety at work is that “decision-makers don’t listen to my opinion”. A Hayley PPE open day gives workplaces an opportunity to bridge that gap. By inviting both management and daily PPE users to actively participate during an open day event, the feedback loop is closed. For instance, staff may find that they would benefit from wearing eye protection while carrying out certain tasks, or current face coverings maybe causing discomfort. Without these sessions, where open discussions are encouraged, businesses risk staff feeling that their concerns are not being heard.
4. Identify areas for improvement
With the thoughts and concerns of staff regarding their PPE and safety at work being noted by decision-makers in attendance during an open day, areas for improvement can be easily identified. As an extension to this, the on-site Hayley Group representative can further guide employers by making recommendations on what exactly needs attention. An improvement could come in the form of a more appropriate PPE product being suggested or guidance on best practices for PPE use. Identifying areas for improvement is only half of the battle though, as appropriate follow-up action must be taken for it to be a worthwhile exercise, and also to retain staff trust in how seriously their employer takes their safety.
5. Access the latest products
Innovation is continuously happening in head-to-toe PPE as comfort, usability, effectiveness, and compliance are all valued by users, manufacturers, and regulatory bodies alike. New-to-market clothing and equipment often comes with enhanced safety features or improved comfort levels.
An open day gives businesses and their staff visibility of the latest innovations and product developments in the field of PPE. On the day, attendees will have the latest appropriate products on the market demonstrated to them, with a synopsis of their applications, features, and benefits. With an improved awareness of what is available to them, businesses can make more informed decisions on the PPE that they purchase. Improving the comfort of PPE users in the workplace has some wider benefits too, such as boosting morale, productivity, and staff retention.
¹Rigoni, B., & Nelson, B., (2016). Engaged Workplaces Are Safer for Employees. Gallup Business Journal. Accessed 1 July 2020.
Do you have 50 or more staff onsite and feel that you would benefit from a free of charge Hayley PPE Open Day? Contact your local Hayley Group branch to book