Before working for Dunk & Associates, I was a sales clerk for a jewellery store. Although those two jobs are complete opposites, they ended up falling hand-in-hand. How you might ask? Well, look around your workplace and count how many people are wearing jewellery. A lot, right?
Now depending on your occupation, your company may already have safety policies in place for wearing jewellery in the workplace. But, even if you’re in a low-risk workplace, there are still dangers that wearing jewellery can pose. This is what I learned working at a jewellery store.
One day, a woman came into the jewellery store telling us her husband lost his finger at work. Right away, the first thing I thought was that he cut it with a saw since he worked in the construction industry. But nope, I was wrong. Once she started describing what happened, everything started to make sense. To save you from the gory details, the reason he lost his finger was because he was wearing his wedding ring. Most people wear gold wedding rings, but over the past few years other materials have become more popular – like Tungsten, Titanium and Platinum. This man in particular was wearing a Titanium wedding ring to work because he was told that it doesn’t get scratched up and bent like gold does. It also costs less and looks more modern. Unfortunately for him, the jeweller he bought his ring from did not inform him that this material cannot be cut off like gold can in case of an emergency.
Why am I telling you about this? Because a lot of people don’t ask their jewellers the important questions like, “Will this chain break if caught in something?” or, “Can I cut this ring off if my hand were to swell?”. After hearing this woman’s story, I couldn’t believe how many people were coming into the store wanting to buy Titanium jewellery, and we made it mandatory to inform everyone on the dangers this material may pose in their workplace.
Does your workplace have a policy on jewellery? Do your workers know about the hazards of their jewellery?
If you are just starting to enforce rules, make sure it’s for all employees including supervisors and managers. No one’s safety is an exception. If there is a “No Ring” policy in place, this may create conflict for some employees that do not want to remove their wedding rings, as well as their partners at home not being happy about this decision. This is why it’s important that when enforcing these rules, it’s backed up with all the reasons why this policy is in place, as well as accident examples, statistic, and visual images. Trust me, once they see the pictures you will not have any issues with anyone not wanting to comply to these restrictions. If employees are caught wearing rings on the job, inform them of the punishments that will follow. This is not to be cruel or unreasonable, this is for the safety of all employees!