More macho, please.

Safety gear suffers from image issues

Published:  07 July, 2009

BRACKNELL: Only 30% of health and safety managers think that essential protective equipment is always worn on construction sites, a survey states. Thirty six per cent of managers on the Olympic sites said work safety gear is "just not macho enough".

The report, commissioned by diversified technology company and personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturer, 3M, shows the battles that health and safety managers face in the construction industry to get their workers to wear the equipment that could save their lives.

As well as interviewing managers, the report researchers polled building site workers, to find out how manufacturers could improve the products. One builder who works on industrial new builds suggested that manufacturers "get the workforce involved at the development stage of products."

Female workers would like to see "smaller sizes of shoes and safety boots".

Vikki Randles, marketing manager for 3M Occupational Health and Environmental Safety said: "Forty eight per cent in companies of 250 workers and over cited image as the main item that could be addressed to get 100% commitment."

The sample for the survey included 226 workers and 127 health and safety managers from England, Scotland and Wales who work on large construction sites. In lengthy telephone and on-site interviews they were asked about their attitude towards health and safety and PPE.

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