With a market full of PPE options, choosing the right safety gear isn’t always an easy task. Plus, finding safe, comfortable PPE that workers will want to wear is more important than ever as the Occupational Health & Safety Administration continues to increase fines.
Since 2016, OSHA fines have risen by 20%, and on January 12, OSHA announced that it plans to raise fines by 7% in 2023. While color might seem like a nonvital style element, colorful PPE can help improve safety in industrial workplaces.
For this reason, safety experts from national PPE manufacturer & distributor Magid Glove & Safety, suggest adding some color when choosing PPE this year.
Here are 5 tips for choosing colorful PPE and how they can help improve safety:
1) Colorful Markings and PPE to Indicate Training Level and Roles
Use colorful hard hats or markings on hard hats to indicate different training levels. For example, a red hat or marking could signify someone who has first aid training, or a blue one could signify someone who knows how to drive a forklift. Different colors can also be used to signify the difference between visitors, managers, hourly employees, or even different roles and work areas.
As a result, workers know whom to reach out to and/or where to go when they need help.
2) Prominent, Colorful Shields to Identify Correct Cut-Level
Some jobs are more dangerous than others and require a higher ANSI Cut Level to keep workers safe. Look for PPE such as gloves and sleeves that feature color shields with the ANSI cut level prominently visible. This makes it easier for safety managers to see if workers are using the right level of cut protection for the job they are doing.
3) Bright Glove Liners to Indicate Overworn PPE
Under all that dirt and grime, it can be difficult to tell if a glove is overworn or if it’s just slightly worn or stained. When a glove shell is compromised, a glove that includes a bright-colored liner will show through and alert the worker to replace the damaged item.
4) Hi-Vis PPE to Ensure Workers Can See Each Other…and Even Themselves
Visibility can be compromised in many conditions, including inclement weather, or even on loud and crowded worksites. It can be just as important for workers to be able to see where their hands are when they’re handling dangerous materials. Look for hi-vis PPE in eye-catching colors. Outside of the traditional hi-vis vests and hats, many manufacturers are also adding high-visibility palm coatings, glove shells, sleeves, and coveralls.
5) Alternating Colors to Signal Inspections
Eventually, PPE wear time runs out and workers must turn in their old and worn items to get new ones. By switching the PPE color, safety managers can easily tell if workers are wearing their old and worn PPE or if they are wearing up-to-date items. Consider purchasing PPE in bulk and in different colors to signal when it’s time for workers to change out their gear.
For more safety tips and resources, click here to visit Magid’s Safety Matters Resource Center.