Posted by: Paul Millican
It’s hard to deny we live in a cost cutting time, where every extra pound helps towards a business’ success – take Microsoft’s culling of 18,000 employees to free up $2.7billion a year in budget as an example: removing 14% of the workforce is a drastic measure. Another worrying cost management strategy I have witnessed – to my concern – over the last few months, is to target health and safety areas, such as protective clothing and workwear.
Workwear and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) can often be affected by cost management exercises because they can be seen as excessive or sometimes even like unnecessary ‘extras’, but there are several compelling reasons why you should talk to a cost consultant before turning the cost saving gaze towards health and safety clothing.
Quality PPE and workwear does not need to be costly – often costs have become out of control only because the specifications of the workwear & PPE has not been effectively managed.
Workwear is most common in trade industries and manual labour; thanks to popular culture, blue overalls have become synonymous with hard-working mechanics, tradesmen and labourers. For employees, they make for both protection against scuffs and stains and a feeling of unity with the business – they’re a part of the team with their work clothing. Over recent years many more colour options and features have been incorporated within workwear designs, often with additional cost creeping in. Workwear must fit certain criteria: good quality materials are a must and durability makes for a long lasting investment, rather than a short term cost.
That last point is something some businesses instantly identify workwear as: a short term cost that needs to be minimalized. But with the right advice and by identifying a good quality supplier, a cost management consultant will almost certainly be able to make you see it as an investment instead. As a bonus: logos shouldn’t be foregone from workwear, as including your company logo might allow your employees a tax rebate, if they are doing the laundering themselves.
PPE, on the other hand, is essential because it provides protection in dangerous work environments, such as those involving hazardous operations or chemicals. A cost consultant will be able to make sure quality isn’t compromised for a low price; PPE especially must fit rigorous criteria, and a consultant will be able to help you find the solution that fits each of these – for example, PPE must offer the right level of protection, be suitable for the working environment and be the right size for each employee.
Hopefully this has convinced any of you considering cost cutting PPE and workwear to seek advice first! A cost consultant will help you to make a guided, informed decision about where cuts can be made without putting employees at risk.
Thinking of managing costs in this area? Do it safely by talking to a cost consultant about a health check first. Remember: managing costs and staying safe can go hand-in-hand!