This blog post, originally published in 2017, was updated in 2023.
Even when we recognize a requirement is in our best interest, it’s human nature to resist being told what to do. However, when people have options – even when all those options meet the requirements – they are more likely to comply, more likely to be comfortable, and more likely to be satisfied. The same goes for PPE programs. Follow along with The Power of Choice to explore the top 5 reasons cited by safety managers for moving to a choice-based AR / FR clothing program.
When it comes to protecting workers from arc flash and flash fire hazards, employers may think that the easiest way to achieve compliance is to offer a single arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) shirt and pant combination in a single fabric, style, and color. However, this type of “no-choice” program may actually have the opposite effect.
Watch as Scott Margolin, Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Technical, explains the psychology of compliance:
In a no-choice program, worker morale suffers because employees feel like they have no say in a very personal decision: the clothing they are wearing every day.
When workers aren’t happy in their clothing, they may not wear it properly because they are uncomfortable – we’ll take a closer look at this in our next post – or worse, not wear it at all.
Further, as Scott explains, over weeks, months, and years this lack of choice can also lead to resentment of the program, which is then transferred onto the clothing itself. When this happens, workers are not motivated to take care of and properly maintain their PPE.
This can create dangerous gaps in personal safety and potentially costly compliance issues for your company, not to mention compliance issues with your company’s brand image standards.
On the other hand, when workers get to choose for themselves from a wide array of fabrics, garments, and styles, they have agency – that is, the ability to act on their own behalf. When they are empowered to select the items, order them, and have them shipped to their home, psychologically the PPE becomes theirs. As a result, they are much more likely to take pride in the clothing they’ve selected, wear it, wear it properly, and to take care of it.
The fact is: when people have options – even when all those options meet the requirements – they are more likely to be comfortable, more likely to be satisfied, and more likely to comply with the protective requirements.
In Tyndale’s decades of experience, we have seen this phenomenon firsthand time and time again.
Ready to harness the power of choice and watch compliance issues decline dramatically? Contact us today to learn more about Tyndale’s solution, which features an automated company-funded program that provides each employee with an annual allowance or allotment from which they can purchase a preferred combination of company-approved AR / FR clothing. This allows workers to choose from a variety of AR / FR clothing styles and fabrics—driving end-user satisfaction, comfort, and compliance.