Some attendees at our recent webinar on unexpected fall protection needs were looking for suggestions on engaging individual workers to contribute to the creation of a safe and compliant work environment. In my opinion, the best way to do that is to engage them in developing safety solutions. I once heard it called the 20-foot principle: those that work within 20 feet of the hazard are likely to have ideas on how to solve it. You may still need to work through some details to create a compliant, functional solution. But, by seeking input, you can make sure that you aren’t forcing workers to use a system that is not conducive to the tasks they need to perform.
Think about this too: one way to get workers to use equipment in a safer manner is to make them use it less. It seems that the more they use it, the more desensitized they may become to proper usage. It’s best to develop solutions that minimize the need for PPE at all.