Informa Markets

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April 7, 2009

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Research- Training critical in correct selection and use of PPE

This is according to independent researchers commissioned by

diversified technology company 3M, who spoke to more than 100 health

and safety managers and some 200 workers in the construction industry

to gauge their views on PPE and determine the reasons why it may not be



Nearly one in four of the managers cited matching the protection level

of the equipment to the hazards as a difficulty – particularly in

construction, where unexpected and unusual situations can crop up at

any time owing to the dynamic nature of most sites.


Almost all of them (87 per cent) said training is the best method to

ensure PPE is worn, but the research found that just over half of the

workers questioned (57 per cent) receive regular training in this

regard, and nearly one in three said they “use what they think is best”.


Commenting on the findings, Vikki Randles – market development

manager for 3M’s occupational health and environmental safety division

– said: “The survey’s results confirm that training of the workforce is

critical if they are to understand why and how they need to wear PPE.

The fact that there are so many workers who are not getting basic

information and training is worrying, and needs to be addressed.

However, it could be that there is a bigger issue at the heart of this

that needs to be solved first.”


She elaborated: “The strength of this response could suggest that

managers in larger organisations are not getting the support that they

want from higher levels in order to ensure that the wearing of PPE is

enforced. A shift is needed to move away from the possible idea that

the health and safety managers are just bureaucratic clipboard

carriers, if they are to be taken seriously in the workplace. Without

this, the safety message and training is not likely to get through.”


The full report can be downloaded from

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