Safety Equipment Suppliers: Ask the Right Questions

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Safety Equipment Suppliers: Ask the Right Questions

In your field, picking the right personal safety equipment suppliers is crucial. You need to work with health and safety equipment suppliers who understand the importance of protecting your employees and meeting strict OSHA regulations. Arming yourself with the right questions as your guidelines helps you select a safety equipment supplier that you can work with well into the future.

Key Questions for Industrial Safety Equipment Suppliers

It helps to ask the right questions when you’re tracking down a vendor. You need an equipment provider who can essentially work as a partner, anticipate your needs, and help you make the best purchasing decisions. With a list of inquiries, you have a foundation for opening conversations while you’re sizing up a new safety equipment supplier.

How Well Do the Safety Equipment Suppliers Understand Your Products?

When you’re talking to health and safety equipment supplier reps for the first time, at the top of the meeting, make sure that they have studied your products. Sure, you may have to educate new vendors about your personal safety equipment list; that’s a given. However, before they win your business, give them an opportunity to show you that they understand what that business is.

Do Your Safety Equipment Wholesale Suppliers Anticipate Your Particular Needs?

When you’re interviewing industrial safety equipment suppliers, find out how much experience they have dealing with your company’s needs. Whether you need lab safety equipment, flame retardant gear, protective eyewear, or other types of personal safety equipment, quiz them on their level of expertise. It makes all your future ordering and any regulatory hurdles easier to manage.

Which Suppliers Do Other OHS Professionals Trust?

Get referrals from colleagues. Search third-party sites, such as Safety + Health Magazine, to find information on innovative health and safety consultants. Leverage your professional connections so you don’t have to do as much legwork when you’re conducting your research.

What Are the Safety Equipment Suppliers' Account Policies?

If you have other members of your team who need to update your inventory of industrial safety supplies, ask potential safety equipment suppliers if they can work with multiple account managers. Will you need weekend or after-hours contact with your safety consultants? Does the company offer any extended warranties? Ask a lot of questions about the billing and credit policies to ensure those policies line up with your expectations. How much credit can they extend? Will that credit line be sufficient for your biggest orders?

Do Your Personal Safety Equipment Suppliers Seek Out New and Innovative Products?

Your industry is probably, like most, dynamic. While you’re busy meeting client orders, overseeing big jobs, or winning new business, there could be new technologies or regulatory procedures that you may have missed. Find out how the supplier could help you save money, become more efficient, or at least stay ahead of the curve. There’s a difference between a rep who constantly upsells versus a consultative professional on the lookout for safety innovations in the workplace. What you want is the latter. Ask if they can provide you and your team with safety training or workplace safety videos particular to your field. A supplier should understand the industrial safety products that he or she sells, and be able to help you understand them better, too.

Is the Company Proactive?

You need a consultative company that understands the balance between high-pressure sales and utter neglect. Find out how regularly your safety supply warehouse will contact you about reorders, to replace old equipment, or to simply check in. Make plenty of inquiries about their sales cycle. Make sure to tell your safety equipment supplier exactly how you want them to communicate with you and how frequently you want them to contact you. Feel confident that you won’t have to spend too much time tracking the person down. When you do need to speak with your representative, they shouldn’t be more than a phone call, email, or text away from helping you solve any problems that arise.

Do Your Own Homework

No matter how much of a trust relationship you build with any third party or vendor, at the end of the day, you need to know your industry better than anyone. As a smart and responsible OHS pro, you need to stay up to date on the newest, best, and safest options for yourself and your staff. Sign up for newsletters and set up news alerts so you’re aware of all the changes in your field. Attend trade shows and product demonstrations and read articles about job site safety tips. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some sources for reliable information to get you started:

  • OSHA site for safety tips
  • Google News Alerts
  • The ROSPA Workplace Safety Blog
  • The Safety Section of EHS Today

Your workers’ safety and yours depend on getting the best and most reliable construction safety equipment or personal safety equipment. It may take some upfront legwork, but the research you do now means that you’ll save yourself time when making important equipment orders and purchases in the future. Lining up the right safety equipment suppliers all but guarantees that you’re doing your utmost to protect everyone in the warehouse, lab, or construction site.

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Topics: Safety Tools and Equipment

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