When outfitting your workforce with personal protective equipment (PPE), choosing the right safety equipment manufacturers is crucial for ensuring your employees have proper safeguards when it comes to workplace hazards. You can be certain you are providing adequate employee protection when you purchase properly designed equipment that also comes with the correct safety certifications.
The first step is to prepare a safety equipment list. Having done that, the next step is to identify the best brands that are consistent with your requirements. One way to do this is to ask the right questions of your safety equipment suppliers and receive recommendations based on your company's needs. You can then base selections on quality, certification, and the availability of training materials.
Selection of Safety Equipment and Tools
The type of safety equipment required depends on many factors, such as the workplace, materials, and equipment handled, and the risk of injury. Common items that safety equipment brands produce include:
- Foot protection - shields feet from falling, sharp, or heavy objects
- Hand protection - protects workers from chemical burns, abrasions, and cuts
- Head protection - protects employees where there's risk of falling or flying objects
- Eye protection - safeguards against dust, sparks, and grit
- Ear protection - covers the ears and protects hearing if sound levels exceed 90 decibels
- High-visibility equipment - protects workers by warning forklift drivers of their whereabouts
- Warning signs - indicate safety hazards and the requirement to wear PPE
- Tools - specially designs make common tasks safer
It's essential to select PPE designed and manufactured to high standards. To ensure employees always wear their safety equipment, it should fit properly and be comfortable. Equipment must provide adequate protection against specified risks. For example, goggles that guard against chemical splashes should have a wraparound design and fit comfortably around the eyes. PPE should have proper labeling so users can select the right size and know the level of protection the equipment provides.
While cost is always a factor, avoid the temptation to buy on price alone. It's more than likely that PPE and safety equipment that costs less has lower manufacturing or inferior specifications. It's better to select PPE based on its specifications, protection levels, durability, and user comfort. Only if there are
PPE Safety Certification
Always ensure your manufacturer or supplier only sells PPE equipment with the correct certification. In the United States, OSHA requires that many forms of PPE comply with standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Categories include eye, face, head, hand, and foot protection. The ANSI 105 standard for gloves determines various degrees of cut resistance, which is an important consideration when selecting gloves to fit your purposes.
The way to check whether equipment has certification is to look for the mark of a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). There are several, including UL, TUV, and CSA. Don't buy equipment unless it has the mark of an NRTL. You can obtain a current list of NRTLs from OSHA. In Europe, PPE should conform to CE requirements.
Training Materials From Manufacturers of Safety Equipment
Employees often need guidance on the correct use of PPE and when they should wear it. During safety and PPE training, be sure to provide the training materials from suppliers of safety equipment and place posters around the workplace reminding workers of correct PPE use. One effective method of encouraging the proper use of PPE and safety equipment is through regular safety inspections.
Share this video during staff training meetings, which provides helpful tips and discusses when workers need to wear PPE.
Safety in the workplace is everyone's responsibility and the use of the PPE and safety tools goes a long way toward preventing injuries. Safety equipment manufacturers recognize this and go out of their way to ensure all their equipment has the proper design to fit current safety requirements.