The true cost of cheap PPE and safety clothing

The true cost of cheap PPE and safety clothing

Workforce health and safety is a huge responsibility for all business owners, especially for those operating in industries where the use of PPE and safety clothing is a prerequisite in order to keep employees safe while they perform their work.

The current global economic situation, with the cost of everything rising exponentially, means businesses are having to look closely at where they can make savings in order to continue to operate and survive.

In this article we look at why cutting your spend by opting for cheap PPE and safety clothing could cost you dearly in the long run.

Paying the price for cheap PPE and safety clothing

There are several risks associated with buying cheap PPE and safety clothing:

  • Quality may be compromised

When items of safety clothing are cheap, then it’s likely that they haven’t been manufactured to the same high quality standards as more expensive products.

Not only does this mean they run the risk of being inefficient and unable to provide the correct levels of protection, but they could need to be replaced much sooner and more frequently.

  • May not meet safety regulations

Ask yourself – why is the PPE you’re looking at so cheap? Perhaps the manufacturers have cut corners and as a result the items won’t meet required health and safety regulations and quality standards. Often, you won’t know this until disaster strikes and an employee’s PPE fails to work properly, causing them serious injury or worse.

It’s vital to check that the company you are considering buying from is expert in the design and manufacture of regulatory compliant PPE and safety clothing for the country in which it will be used.

  • Not fit-for-purpose

A more serious risk is that cheap, off-the-shelf PPE and safety clothing will not be fit-for-purpose in the same way that items tailored to meet the specific safety requirements of your workforce would be.

Off-the-shelf solutions, while cheaper, are unlikely to meet your exact needs or protect your workforce adequately. Equally, such items may be ill-fitting and uncomfortable, which affects whether or not your workforce will wear it as advised or even at all.

  • May not be the best representation of your brand

Cheap, mass produced PPE and safety workwear is likely to have been manufactured using cheap materials, which will not stand up to the harsh conditions in which it is worn or to the regular laundering it should have to keep it working properly and looking good. Not only will items made from substandard materials need replacing sooner, they will begin to look worn and tatty more quickly and not be the best showcase of your brand.

The image that your staff portray can either positively or negatively affect your company image and therefore your reputation. Which would you prefer?

While they may be less expensive to begin with, ultimately the total cost of your PPE and safety clothing could be much higher.

How to properly manage your PPE and safety clothing budget

In the pursuit of lowering your PPE and safety clothing budget you are most likely to have to regularly research, contact and negotiate with numerous suppliers, who will have little to no knowledge (or interest) in your business or what you need that clothing or equipment for.

Having a managed account with your PPE and safety clothing provider means they can support you with a more tailored approach to your specific business and help you control your PPE spend and identify where savings could be possible.

With a dedicated account manager and Contego Safety Solutions’ Online Management Portal and Forecasting Supply Chain Management services, which are available to all account customers, you will have the visibility of all your PPE spend, enabling you to see patterns of expenditure and, with your account manager, identify where possible savings could be made.

Contego Safety Solutions stocks a wide range of corporate workwear, protective clothing and PPE, including our WEARMASTER® range. We also provide a bespoke uniform design and manufacturing service to ensure that you get precisely what you are looking for in a company uniform.

Our team is always on hand to give advice and guidance on the right PPE and safety clothing for your needs. Contact us now on 0800 122 3323 or to discuss your requirements.

Published on 21 March 2023


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