A Mirror: Your Most Important PPE

Look around your job site. There are hazards including suspended loads, moving equipment, heat, electricity, insects, falling objects, poison oak and traffic. Assuming you work for a company with an effective safety program, they have trained you in hazard identification and mitigation. Your mitigation plan to control some hazards includes PPE. You inspect it, store it properly and wear it as directed. In short, you protect it so it can protect you. You are covered in PPE from head to toe and ready to go to work. Or are you? Have you forgotten the most important PPE you will ever use – a mirror?

You have probably never seen a mirror included with your PPE on a job hazard analysis or pre-job briefing form and probably are not trained in mirror use, so let’s examine why a mirror is an essential component of your PPE along with how and when it should be utilized.

Mirrors are an important component of PPE because you can be the biggest hazard on your job site and a mirror is your only protection. To utilize a mirror properly, position yourself directly in front of it and think about the following.

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Employee safety accountability in 5 steps

Many of us in safety use the widely-accepted definition of employee accountability as “the responsibility of employees to complete the tasks they are assigned, to perform the duties required by their job, and to be present for their proper shifts to fulfill or further the goals of the organization.” That’s it? This definition falls short of what we should really expect from engaged and safety-focused employees. It simply states that employees should show up on time, do their jobs, and go home. So, how do you get employees to take personal and group accountability for your safety programs?
As uncomfortable as it might be to acknowledge, the first step is getting management out of the way.

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