We’ve heard statements like this made time and time again, but are they really true? Do you really need to spend a lot of money to stay safe on the job? How much does price tell you about the quality of the item and the level of protection you’ll get?
A Big Decision
Choosing how best to invest in protecting your workforce from on-the-job injuries and illness is a big decision. Getting it wrong isn’t an option; not only could lives be on the line, but your business too. Every year, tens of millions of working days in the UK are lost to work-related ill health and workplace injuries. These incidents can cost businesses dearly in lost productivity and potential legal costs. So, it is vital to make a sound investment.
Many people will consider price as part of the evaluation process. With budgets squeezed, it’s understandable that businesses are under pressure to keep spending to a minimum and to justify procurement decisions that may seem expensive in the longer term. Add to these pressures statements like the one above, and choosing the right options can seem like a weighty decision.
The problem is, when it comes to safety, price alone doesn’t tell the whole story. When you buy the most expensive products, you might not be getting the best quality and durability for your money, especially if you’re paying for a brand name. And if you choose the cheapest products, is there a reason why they are cheaper? The manufacturer might have used cheaper fabrics, threads or components, or have spent less money on research, development and testing. Are these risks you are willing to take when it comes to the safety of your employees?
So, if price isn’t the answer, how do you choose the best safety and personal protective equipment for your team?
The Devil Is In The Detail
When procuring safety equipment, it’s vital to compare detailed product specifications for different manufacturers to determine which items will offer the best value for money. It will be far more cost-effective for your business to buy higher quality, more durable products that you don’t have to replace so often, irrespective of their price.
Make sure that not just the materials used, but finished equipment itself, conforms to the relevant standards and regulations for use in your industry, and – for items of PPE – that you look at what sort of guarantee the manufacturer makes allowing for cleaning and maintenance.
Question whether the protection that the item offers can be washed out or fade with wear, and look at the length of the warranty the manufacturer offers as an indication of how long the item might last.