Electrical Safety Stories Blog

Getting Workers to Adhere to an Electrical PPE Policy

Getting Workers to Adhere to an Electrical PPE Policy

By: Rich Gojdics


It’s a common challenge, even for companies whose reputation for safety precedes them. Policies can be documented and enforced, safety culture can be enshrined into the organization, and leadership can take an active role in protecting workers, but still, even with all this in place, workers may miss the mark.

Even if workers know the importance of electrical PPE and the dangers of working without it, many still fail to embrace it. For one electrical contractor with an enviable track record of safety, our friends at Kelso-Burnett Co., still felt like they could do more for their workers.

Kelso-Burnett Co. Turns to Enespro PPE

Kelso-Burnett has provided electrical services for over 111 years, growing strategically to respond to the needs of its clients. With offices throughout Northern Illinois, this large electrical contractor delivers traditional electrical services in industrial and commercial distribution systems, as well as additional divisions specifically dedicated to telecommunications, security, CCTV, card access, sound systems, fire alarms and electrical systems testing.

As an employee-owned firm, Kelso-Burnett takes steps to improve the lives of its workers while remaining centered on constant growth and improvement. Knowing their commitment to improvement, they noticed one area where they could do better—improving the electrical PPE they provided to workers to give them more comfort and mobility when they need it most.

Like many large electrical contractors, Kelso-Burnett wanted to ensure employees were wearing electrical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when dealing with potential arc flash situations. They also faced an incredibly common challenge: Workers hated the electrical PPE they were given. Bulky, unbreathable, and inflexible, their traditional PPE was despised by workers—especially when summer rolled around.

“The bulky and uncomfortable elements of traditional electrical PPE made it more difficult for employees to do their job, especially in summer in Chicago,” said Bill Pineda, Kelso-Burnett’s Safety Director. “Not only was the gear not good to work in, it wasn’t holding up either. It all came in standard duffel bags which got beat up in gang boxes and made us replace our equipment more often than necessary.”

Workers couldn’t stand their electrical PPE, the purchasing department was sick of replacing it, and they needed a better solution. After assessing a variety of products on the market, Kelso-Burnett decided to work with Enespro for their electrical PPE needs. They acquired several Enespro AirLiteTM 40 CAL Arc Flash kits with OptiShield™ Vented Lift-Front Hoods to test out the new approach to arc flash PPE.

Like many companies, Kelso-Burnett implemented a trial program, and like many companies, the response was overwhelmingly positive.

“The guys love it. The suits are lighter and breathe better, which makes a huge difference […] I’ve actually heard some compliments come back about the new gear, which says something about the product, considering it is still PPE we are talking about. It gives me confidence that our field employees will continue to wear this gear.”

Read the Entire Case Study

Not only did it increase use among workers, employees found the suit so lightweight, breathable, and comfortable that PPE use became automatic. Ready to learn more? Read the entire case study below.


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