Smart consumers do their homework to ensure they get what they need at a fair price. Even those of us who don’t regularly research and compare will do so for significant purchases—especially if the health or well-being of our loved ones are on the line.
If your job involves purchasing fall protection equipment, you need to put your best consumer skills to work. You need to understand the uses, requirements, and especially limitations of the equipment before purchasing it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. The most difficult conversations during our consulting work are when we have to explain to an organization that the systems they’ve invested in don’t meet workers’ fall protection needs.
Equipment distributors do not purposely specify unsafe products. But, they may sell everything from safety glasses to respirators to caution tape. They may not have an in-depth knowledge of fall protection regulations and standards, or an understanding of how work tasks are performed. Regrettably, we’ve seen too many organizations trust the word of their suppliers—just to end up with buyer’s remorse when the solutions don’t work effectively. In the end, workers’ safety is compromised to some degree.
Remember this: when you provide your personnel with equipment, they assume it will protect them. Be a good consumer. Make sure you’ve done all you can to ensure it will work properly when your workers need it most.