Can I Make Employees Remove Wedding Rings at Work for Safety Reasons?
Because wedding rings carry deep symbolism, some people are hesitant to ever remove them. While you may not want to offend your employees, their health and safety is more important than any jewelry you own.
One of the most common work-related accidents involving wedding rings occurs when an employee's ring catches on machinery or some other object. If the ring itself does not break, it may remove flesh from the finger or sever the finger altogether. Wedding rings also pose a threat if an employee injures the finger on the job and the finger swells up around the wedding band, cutting off the worker's circulation.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes that employers should not permit employees to wear any jewelry that could potentially become caught in machinery and cause amputation-type injuries. If wedding rings place your employees at risk, you not only have the right to require that they remove their wedding bands, you have a responsibility to do so.
For some employees, the idea of removing a wedding ring is abhorrent. Fortunately, many ring companies produce "safety bands." These silicone or rubber wedding rings don't conduct electricity and will break rather than get caught and take a finger with them. Although temporary wedding bands aren't for everyone, safer rings are a good compromise for those who have serious reservations about removing their wedding bands at work.