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Running a business can be expensive. There are hundreds of associated costs, with everything from salaries, property rental and insurance quickly adding up. While it may be possible to streamline in some areas, some costs can’t be avoided, either due to financial or even legal reasons. One of the expenses that falls into the latter bracket is personal protective equipment, or PPE.                                                                                                                                               

One of the fundamental responsibilities of any employer is to keep staff safe in the workplace. Enshrined in UK law since the Health and Safety in the Workplace Act of 1974 and the subsequent Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations of 1992, it is the legal requirement of any employer to provide the necessary equipment in good order that employees might require during work. This includes the provision of hard hats, gloves, goggles and other more task specific equipment.


However, while PPE costs may be mandatory there are still ways to save without compromising on anybody’s safety.


Here are four great ways to do it.


1. Buy in bulk
Buying the odd pair of gloves or goggles here and there seems like a minor expense but can soon start to add up. As with almost all other areas of business, by buying in bulk and effective planning over the longer term you can reduce the costs. So, think about your longer terms needs and plan for the future.


2. Go for good quality
One way many companies try to keep costs down is to go for the cheapest option but this is often a false economy. Not only is this potentially putting employees at risk by having poorer quality products but bargain basement goods will also need replacing more often. As the saying goes: buy cheap, buy twice.


3. Repair rather than replace
Health and safety law dictates that some products must be replaced when damaged (hard hats have a use by date, for example) but in other cases it is fine to repair rather than replace. Use a little common sense and think about which PPE items can be preserved and repaired rather than binned and shelled out for all over again. This also makes more sense in terms of sustainability.


4. Buy online
With lower overheads and the ability to offer better bulk deals, it may be cheaper to shop with online PPE retailers rather than your local store. Of course, supporting local business and developing relationships with suppliers is great for business, but sometimes you just can’t ignore the savings you can find online. With larger ranges of products from all the big manufacturers, shopping online is usually the way to go.

There are other ways of saving too, including sharing the costs with other companies (perfect for small businesses) and even buying second hand PPE wear, so with a little imaginative business sense you can keep costs down.

However, unlike some other areas of the business, when it comes to PPE it’s the safety, happiness and well-being of your staff that matters most, even more than the bottom line.


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