Businesses have a legal duty to supply their workers with the correct safety equipment for whatever job they must undertake. This task is typically done by purchasing managers and internal safety managers who identify the equipment needed and where best to procure it.
Those in charge of this vital task will often be confronted with the question of whether to buy or rent equipment. To make this decision, it is important that cost implications, as well as both present and long-term need are taken into account.
Both buying and renting safety equipment are perfectly acceptable methods of acquiring the right equipment. However, each option comes with pros and cons, and the right choice depends on circumstance and your current needs.
In this article, we will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both options to help you come to the right decision.
Buying Safety Equipment
1. Long-Term Value
Owned safety equipment that is used regularly over its lifetime will end up paying for itself. The equipment can be used over and over without any additional cost outside of maintenance.
2. Always Available
Since the equipment is company property, it will always be available when needed. There are also fewer logistical concerns because the equipment is always on-hand. Alternatively, renting equipment might cause issues if the equipment you need has been rented by another company.
3. Decreased Downtime
Owned equipment to which you have full access means fewer delays. Your team simply needs to request for the equipment and that’s that.
4. Full Visibility
Owning the equipment lets you know exactly where it is at all times, how it’s being used, and who is responsible for it. This allows you to supervise usage and care as you see fit.
1. Equipment Can Become Outdated
Equipment can become obsolete after a few years, as better and more efficient versions become available. Purchasing your safety equipment means that if it becomes outdated, you’ll either need to keep using the outdated version you have for its lifetime or spend more for upgrades. Some countries might even require equipment to be updated to meet a certain standard.
2. Storage, Maintenance, and Inventory
Because the safety equipment is your property, all responsibility to store, maintain, and keep track of it also falls on you. You will need to devote resources to make sure that the equipment stays in good working order.
3. Value Depreciation
The moment you purchase equipment, its value starts to go down. If you ever need to resell it, breaking even to offset the initial cost will be almost impossible. In many cases, reselling might not even be an option at all.
Renting Safety Equipment
1. Lower Initial Investment
Renting safety equipment costs a fraction of purchasing it outright. This is because the whole concept hinges on temporary access to the items. This is an attractive, cost-effective benefit if you don’t plan to use the equipment on a regular basis.
2. Updated Equipment
Renting means you always have access to the newest equipment available, as well as any improvements and advantages. This can also give you a good sense of what functions are vital for the tasks your team carry out and guide potential future purchases.
3. Broad Selection
Renting means access to a near-limitless selection of equipment types, brands, and models. Because of the temporary nature of renting, you can afford to explore and try out items that might have been too expensive to gamble on otherwise.
4. Third-Party Handling
Once the project is complete, you simply return the safety equipment and that’s that. The rental company has all maintenance and storage responsibilities. In some cases, this benefit alone can mean renting pays for itself. If the savings you expect outweigh the increased cost of constant renting, then there would be no need to purchase your own safety equipment.
1. Erratic Availability
You have no control over the availability of rented equipment, so if another customer rents out what you need first, then you’ll be out of luck. Another solution would be to develop positive relationships with various safety equipment rental companies so you have an extensive network of options. However, at the end of the day, there’s still a chance that you won’t be able to rent the equipment you need, when you need it.
2. Long-Term Cost
No matter how inexpensive renting might be, you’re still essentially paying a fraction of the safety equipment’s price each time you rent it out. Do this enough times and eventually it will have been cheaper to buy it instead.
3. Damage or Extended Use Penalties
Your company will be liable to pay penalties if the equipment gets damaged during your project. If the project is delayed, you’ll need to pay additional fees for the extension of the rental. These penalties just add to the accruing cost of continuous renting.
4. Limited Technical Assistance
If your project has unconventional hours, you might encounter difficulty receiving technical assistance from the rental provider. This can be avoided by proactively asking for any possible concerns, but of course, technical issues rarely make themselves known when it’s convenient.
Questions to Consider to Decide Whether to Buy or Rent Safety Equipment
Whether you should rent or purchase your safety equipment will depend on your specific requirements, which may vary depending on individual projects, among other factors.
Each time you find yourself needing to make this decision, you can assess the situation with the following questions:
1. How long do you plan on using the equipment?
Renting might be ideal for short-term projects, while purchasing is best for long-term projects. However, you might also have a lot of short-term projects lined up. In this case, purchasing might be the best call.
2. Do you have enough capital now or are your funds limited?
This really isn’t even a question of options as the availability of funds can rule out purchasing altogether. If you do not have enough to purchase, then renting is the only option.
3. Do you have space or the facility to store the safety equipment properly?
Smaller companies simply don’t have the space for storing safety equipment. If you find yourself heavily considering the purchase option because renting over and over is proving to be too costly, factor in the cost of acquiring storage.
The decision to buy or rent safety equipment and PPE in Singapore often involves multiple parties within the company, including users, finance, and management so it’s best to take all opinions into consideration.
Whichever option you eventually choose, it’s imperative to deal only with a trusted and reputable provider. Verify the credibility of your supplier by checking the Singapore Safety Equipment Companies List in the Singapore Companies Directory.
You always need qualified personnel to train your staff on the proper use of equipment, and provide comprehensive advice.
A partnership with the right provider means your people are in good hands. At Kee Safety, we can offer professional recommendations to help determine which option is best for your company, and provide top quality safety equipment solutions. To discuss your safety equipment needs, call us on +65 6385 4166, or use our online contact form.