Manufacturing Safety for Manitoba

Lessons from Jacque Plante: making Personal Protective Equipment exciting

Lessons from Jacque Plante: making Personal Protective Equipment exciting

Posted on January 11, 2017

By Made Safe

When using any sort of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), I am reminded of my days playing hockey. It was always exciting to get a new pair of elbow pads, shin pads, hockey helmet or any other piece of hockey “safety” equipment. And that’s what hockey equipment is. It’s PPE for the hockey player.

In the old days, hockey players never wore helmets, and the equipment they did wear was vastly inferior to what they wear today. In 1959 Jacques Plante made history as the first goaltender to create and use a goalie mask. And we never looked back. Would you ever see a professional hockey player in today’s game without their equipment?

So how can we get employees in the workplace as excited about wearing PPE as your favourite hockey player is about wearing their hockey equipment?

The main reason that hockey players wear their equipment is because they know they’ll get hurt if they decide not to wear their PPE. Hockey players are taught from a very young age that playing the game can be hazardous, even deadly. Unfortunately, most (all?) workers are not aware of the hazards until it’s too late. The only way a new worker in a company will be aware of a hazard is through workplace training. Worker education (like hockey practice and game prep) is key to ensuring that everyone in the workplace is aware of the hazards. We should never assume that workers know or understand how to use a particular machine or piece of equipment unless they have received the training to do so.

So, let’s take a cue from our national pastime. Let’s recognize that there are many things in our workplaces that are extremely hazardous. Things that can hurt us or even take our lives.
And remember, Personal Protective Equipment is personal. In the same vein that no two professional goalie masks are the same, your PPE is designed and manufactured to provide personal protection to you. No one else can wear it for you.

If you need insight, guidance or support when it comes to choosing PPE, fitting equipment and more – Made Safe is here to help. Contact us at any time. And remember; most services are included in your membership and available at no extra charge.

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