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Ensuring all employees have access to the right safety equipment for the task they are undertaking is an integral part of health and safety. This responsibility lies on purchasing managers who source and procure the equipment.
However, the quality of safety equipment is crucial to maintaining your company’s safety management system and is often the deciding factor when it comes to employee safety during dangerous tasks such as working at height.
Everyone has the right to come to work and go home safely, and worker protection should be the top priority so selecting the right safety equipment supplier is vital. There are many suppliers in the market who provide a range of safety systems and PPE but not all will suit you and your specific workplace safety needs. To ensure your workers are fully protected, you need to make sure you do your due diligence and select the best supplier for you.
Here are five criteria for assessing the right safety equipment provider so you can enjoy minimum operational risk, at the best value:
A good safety equipment provider will be able to offer a solution adapted to your unique needs. Similarly, they will work with you to help you create and supply a suitable solution. Many providers are highly inflexible, and they will only offer packages that can’t be readily scaled down for smaller projects or modified to specific needs.
In these situations, your budget may be wasted on more equipment than is needed for the required work effort. Remember: any equipment that goes unused is revenue down the drain. Make sure you check whether a prospective supplier is able to meet you halfway.
If you are unsure about the exact equipment required, you can consult the WSH guide for protective equipment to get a better idea. However, every project is unique, and as the Purchasing Manager, you should liaise with the HSE Manager to determine your specific needs.
The cost of the equipment must be justified and can be adjusted according to your requirements. Another indication of a good safety equipment provider is that they have a reliable inventory of equipment and an expansive distribution network. These factors ensure that the right equipment can be provided at the site as soon as you need it, and you can guarantee the provider’s logistical capacity for smooth project delivery.
In general, be wary of selecting the cheaper option, as this usually does not mean better. Consider the overall value the provider can deliver in contrast to the amount they are charging. At the end of the day, assess the options fully and go for the most balanced and competitive option. Carefully consider if all your requirements are met. Any shortcoming adds to the liability risk, as covered in the Workplace Health and Safety Act.
Check the provider’s credentials and reputation for quality, as well as corresponding certifications. This can be verified by searching for customer reviews and looking into awards that the prospective partner might have received. Make sure to verify if the safety equipment provider you are looking to hire has been vouched for by your peers in the industry.
You should also check a safety equipment provider’s qualifications against any guidelines enforced by the local government. Singaporean businesses can refer to the Workplace Safety and Health Council’s guidelines on fall protection equipment for more information.
A good provider must have expert knowledge of safety standards and how safety equipment impacts certain working environments. This is even more important in hazardous conditions such as work at height.
See if the supplier and their specialists have proper training and certifications from MOM-accredited training providers or other courses such as the bizSAFE programme to assure you that the provider has proven expertise and training. To verify the training level of external individuals you are potentially going to work with, you can check the Ministry of Manpower’s records. This will help you confirm that they know what they’re doing, which will reflect upon the quality of service and product guaranteed to you upon purchase.
Another good indicator of whether or not the safety equipment provider is dependable is how they communicate from beginning to after-care. They must be able to convey essential information at all times and ensure that every aspect of your needs is covered. When it comes to proper usage of the equipment, it is all the more important for a safety equipment provider to establish clear correspondence to minimise the risk of improper usage.
Additionally, it also pays to check whether the provider is offering training on the proper use of the equipment, after-care, and any product warranties. These should allow you to zero in on the right candidate faster. Consider viewing these ‘add-ons’ as ‘must-haves’, and disregard any safety equipment provider that doesn’t offer them.
The ideal safety equipment provider is not just a supplier: they should be a long term partner and dedicated part of your mission to improve safety at your business. The provider should be able to offer whatever you need to make sure everyone on-site remains at minimal risk throughout the duration of the project. The provider should also be capable of giving guidance and information on the proper use of the equipment they are offering.
At Kee Safety, with our leading fall protection equipment and global distribution network, we are dedicated to forming long term, mutually beneficial relationships with our partners. Our UK Testing Centre means all the products and solutions we supply undergo state-of-the-art testing by technical experts, which ensures compliance to all relevant regulations and standards, as witnessed by independent third parties.
We also offer independent site surveys and consultations, as well as tailored recommendations that enable you to fully assess your work at height hazards, and determine the right safety equipment, mitigating risk and protecting those in your business.
We guarantee not only quality equipment, but also comprehensive training in its use. We have the backing of multiple relevant accreditations and awards, putting us at the forefront of the industry.
All of this, and more, is what makes Kee Safety not only a world leader, but the most reliable safety partner.
Contact us today to learn more about our systems and solutions, and how we can benefit you as your dedicated safety equipment provider.