Safety equipment alone probably isn’t enough to protect your workers, your infrastructure and your company’s productivity. You also need to make sure that your equipment and services are a good match for your needs and integrated with your larger business. Instead of focusing on equipment, look for a vendor who offers safety solutions.
Here are three signs you need a more comprehensive solution than your current safety equipment:
1. Your Safety Equipment No Longer Reflects The Work Environment
On many work sites, the loading equipment and safety equipment have been purchased from different suppliers. For example, let’s say you plan to purchase a loading arm built by one company, and already have a loading rack with fall prevention purchased from another supplier.
When you’re focused on choosing the best equipment, you might consider factors specific to the loading arm, such as the swivel joints, seal material and break-away devices, as well as the technology behind systems for vapor recovery and overfill prevention.
Unfortunately, this focus on equipment makes it easy to miss the larger picture: Will the loading arm work with your existing truck or rail car loading racks? What happens if you upgrade your loading racks in the future?
Integrating the loading arm into a loading rack facility is often quite complex, and as you purchase individual pieces of safety equipment over time, your work site gradually changes. Eventually, your safety equipment may no longer meet your company’s needs. To avoid these complications, look beyond equipment alone to manufacturers that provide integrated safety solutions.
2. Your Site Or Company Has Expanded
Your company’s current safety equipment may work well and comply with OSHA standards, but what happens if your work site doubles in size, or your company grows rapidly through mergers and acquisitions? You need some way to align a diverse collection of safety equipment and procedures.
In the industrial manufacturing industry, mergers and acquisitions were up in the second quarter of 2015, compared to the previous quarter and this time last year, according to a recent report by PwC.Nearly two-thirds of those deals were in emerging markets, which is well above the typical percentage. When your company makes a deal to expand overseas, regulatory differences may create new challenges for maintaining employee safety and compliance.
3. You’ve Had Recent Accidents Or Close Calls
An accident is usually a sign that your current safety equipment isn’t providing enough protection. Accidents tend to spark a flurry of activity, as the company attempts to head off a PR nightmare. Repeat violations or close calls are equally serious, and give you the chance to make improvements before a tragic accident occurs. In either case, it’s important to consider a more comprehensive approach, bringing equipment and services together for a complete safety solution.
The first step in choosing the proper solution is to find a consultant who takes the time to learn your business. Ask a potential vendor or consultant how far they will go to understand your situation and process, along with your goals as a business.
A great vendor invests the necessary time to dig into your operations, workflows and parameters, and then uses those insights to design a customized solution that goes far beyond safety equipment alone.