How To Minimize PPE Costs Without Affecting Safety


There’s a line of thought that goes, “Never cheap out on the things that keep you from the ground; tires, mattresses, and shoes.” In a lot of ways, personal protective equipment is the same. You don’t want to get cut-rate items if you’re relying on them to keep you and your team safe from hazardous waste, caustic chemicals, or challenging work conditions.

But PPE costs can quickly add up if you’re not diligently tracking your expenses and requirements. We’ve heard from some businesses that have purchased top of the line equipment but were unable to outfit everyone on their team because of the costs. Conversely, others have gone the cheap route and have been disappointed by the PPE they got.

Striking the balance between safe and affordable can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Brent Industries is a leader in textile recycling and PPE restoration. Here are a few strategies you can use to minimize your PPE expenditures without compromising the safety of you and your staff.

Understand How Employees Use Their PPE

For so many people, it’s easy to think that “a glove is a glove” and treat them all the same. However, specific kinds of PPE are designed for specific tasks, and using them for anything other than that can wear the equipment down more quickly. 

Understanding how your employees use their PPE can give you insights into where your costs are occurring. For instance, if your employees are allowed unlimited access to PPE, they might not treat it with the kind of care it deserves. Rather than rotating between different sets of gloves, they might use one until they fall apart, throw it out, and then grab a new pair. Alternatively, they might simply throw away a pair at the first sign of dirt and wear. 

Purchase PPE With The Features You Need, Not Want

It’s easy to think that only the high-end PPE will keep you and your teams safe, but the truth is, getting too many features on your PPE is costing you more than you’re getting in return. Buying the equipment that best meets the needs of your team is easy. Just look at the hazards your teams face on a regular basis and find the equipment that protects from that. 

With that in mind, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to purchasing PPE to meet every hazard. For instance, the polyurethane-coated gloves you bought work great for assembly line work, while the fully coated nitrile gloves you have are better suited to working with chemicals. 

When you buy the PPE with the features you need, the equipment will be used correctly and responsibly. This limits how much material is deliberately, or unintentionally, wasted.

Choose the Right Materials

Part of choosing the right features for your PPE includes choosing the right materials. For instance, leather has been the go-to choice for workwear for centuries. That’s because leather is robust, breaks in easily, and protects from heat, abrasion, and pressure well. However, it’s not always the best choice for a particular task or project.

In the last century, a variety of synthetic materials have been developed that do a better job of keeping you and your team safe than natural materials like cotton, hemp, and leather. Kevlar, Aramid, and Dyneema are all incredibly durable fabrics and can be made into textiles that offer superior protection than leather. In many cases, these materials are more affordable as well.

Keep Your Purchases Focused

It’s not uncommon for one business to have multiple buyers in charge of keeping the company well-provisioned. However, this often leads to multiple buyers purchasing multiple sets of the same PPE. While there are moments where this might be useful, for the most part, it leads to a surplus of equipment and a smaller budget.

Instead, it’s important to centralize your PPE purchasing power. Create a list of which departments use which equipment, and check for overlap. Department managers should collaborate on how they can share existing stores of equipment, and only request purchases when supply levels fall below a certain threshold.

Recondition Your Workwear and PPE

One of the easiest ways to reduce your PPE expenditures is to simply limit how often you’re making purchases. With textile and PPE reconditioning services available, you can get more out of each piece of equipment at a lower cost. 

For example, for work gloves and absorbent materials that have been soaked in chemicals, it’s not prudent or safe to continue using them, nor is it a good idea to simply throw them away. Utilizing a green reconditioning service breathes new life into these materials, and is far less expensive than buying new ones.

Brent Industries uses an innovative and environmentally sound closed-loop reconditioning system. This process involves bringing your workwear to our treatment facility, reconditioning them, and recycling the leftover solvents for future reconditioning projects. We then ship those same materials back to you to be used again. You’ll save up to 70% of the cost of purchasing new materials while limiting your impact on the global environment.

Choose Brent Industries for Your PPE Needs

More than reconditioning gloves, wiping materials, and other PPE, we also sell these reconditioned materials, so you can save money on your regular equipment expenditures. To learn more about how you can recondition your PPE or purchase our materials, reach out and connect with a Brent Industries representative today.

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