This is the third post in a six-part series on the power of choice in your arc-rated flame resistant (FR) clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) programs. This post focuses on comfort and why it’s one of the top reasons cited by safety managers for moving to a managed choice program. Stay tuned for additional posts in this series on increased access to innovations, increases morale, and cost reduction through a choice program.
Comfort is usually top of mind when deciding what to wear. There are many factors that contribute to comfort including a physical element – how the garment fits and feels – and an emotional element – how you feel when you wear the garment. Both are extremely subjective, differing from person to person, day to day.
What is physically comfortable to you may not be for someone else. Next time you’re in a room of 10 or more people, take note of what everyone is wearing. You almost always find people in both short sleeves and long sleeves; natural fibers, synthetic fibers, and blends; knit pullovers and woven button ups; one, two, or three layers; and lighter and heavier fabrics, even though everyone is exposed to the same temperature and humidity across the room.
Similarly, how you feel in your clothing is subjective. People generally have a style “comfort zone.” When you feel good in what you are wearing you get a bounce in your step and a boost in confidence leading to improved productivity. Venture too far outside your comfort zone and you may feel unsure of yourself and consequently, less motivated and focused.
These aspects of human nature should be considered when choosing a FR clothing or PPE program. Often times, employers decide that the easiest path to compliance is offering a single shirt and pant combination in a single fabric, weight, style, and color. This is especially common with rental programs, which have traditionally been utilized to outfit workers for NFPA 70E compliance and are financially incented to limit the volume of clothing in service.
The problem with this type of no-choice program is that workers aren’t always going to be comfortable in the clothing chosen for them. Employees who are uncomfortable may decide to alter (rolling up sleeves, taking off protective layers, etc.) or – worse – not wear protective garments altogether. This can lead to potentially expensive non-compliance issues and critically, could result in a safety incident.
The good news is that there is a solution: offer a choice program, allowing workers to choose from a reasonable array of styles, colors, weights, fabrics, and brands (all meeting the protective needs of the company). Consequently, workers are more likely to be happy with their clothing selections and therefore more likely to wear the required clothing and care for it, meaning less compliance issues for the company. It’s a win, win!
Bottom line, employee level choice programs provide user satisfaction through comfort which in turn, drives compliance with safety requirements. Consider making the switch from your current non-choice program to a Tyndale managed choice program and watch employee comfort and satisfaction rise!
Stay tuned for our next post in this series which focuses on increased access to innovations through a choice program!
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 employees can purchase a preferred combination of company-approved FR clothing. This allows workers to choose from a variety of FR clothing styles and fabrics—driving end-user satisfaction, comfort, and compliance.