Rogue glove buying isn’t as corrupt as it sounds, it’s actually pretty commonplace.
It’s the result from having a non-standardized glove program and issues like glove overstock, high purchase prices or lower glove lifespan arise from it.
We sat down with Michael Johannesson, our Advocate Hand Protection Program specialist to look at common mistakes that companies make when creating these programs and effective fixes.
1. Not Having a Plan:
“By not having a plan in place, rogue glove buying can double your price,” Michael said. “For instance, buying gloves that aren’t on an approved list or gloves that seem like a good deal but don’t last long enough.”
Make sure that everyone follows the rules and no one goes out of bounds. The plan doesn’t have to be exhaustive, but you have to at the current PPE and analyzing the pros and cons of each piece.
2. Lacking Education:
Brushing up on glove knowledge is easier said than done and that’s where people like Michael come in.
Part of the planning stage is familiarizing yourself with the work gloves and deciding which pair to use depending on the job.
As one of Superior Glove’s hand protection specialists, Michael will visit a company, discuss the issues with their current program, outline the goals and figure out how to achieve them. “This program is so effective because it allows us to address the safety concerns in-person,” Michael said. “A troubling fact is that nearly all workplaces, no matter the industry, assign footwear to employees but not work gloves.”
3. Closed Communication:
Communication is key in every step of the process because it keeps everyone in the loop. Michael recommends working closely with your glove manufacturer and your distributor for selecting safety products. That way, the expectations of each player (the manufacturer, the distributor and the end-user) are clearly defined. This reduces time and costs and allows for a more pleasant glove buying experience.
4. No Hazard Assessment:
The hazard assessment is crucial to a successful hand protection program. It allows for the specialist to visit the business and take all of the hazards into account.
The small hazards can be overlooked by staff who see it everyday. A fresh set of eyes will make note of the risks and make sure it’s addressed during the PPE discussion.
“That way we can use that information to tailor the gloves we recommend,” Michael said. “So we can address their specific needs and make sure we’re recommending the PPE that will keep them safe.”
5. Excluding Employees:
Each level of employee plays an important part in creating a glove program. Here are the steps Michael follows when visiting a company:
- Meet with the decision makers to see where the priorities lie and discuss their program options.
- Select the gloves for testing.
- Choose a focus group of 6 to 12 employees that offer a variety of talents and personality.
- Hear feedback from the focus group.
- Make changes as necessary.
It’s important to chose workers who perform the tasks into the conversation. If they don’t like wearing the glove, compliance will suffer.
6. Disregarding Feedback:
Feedback is invaluable because it tells you which gloves to keep and which to cut from the trial.
If the unnecessary items aren’t removed, “we end up in the same place we started,” Michael said. “Too many gloves and no understanding of which glove is right for the task.”
Through this process Michael explained, Superior Glove managed to reduce hand injuries by 84% and glove spending by $156,000 for Alta Steel, a producer of rolled steel products in Edmonton, Alberta.
7. Penny Pinching:
The bottom line always plays a part in decision making and glove buying isn’t any different.
But the thing that Michael notices is that people tend to pinch pennies in bad ways. “You can buy a leather driver glove anywhere but how long is it going to last you?” Buying a glove that is ‘less expensive’ but is replaced constantly isn’t the best way to save money.”
This applies to glove laundering as well. “Isn’t washing a glove and reusing it three and four times a better option than buying a single-use glove for half the price?
The first place companies look to cut costs is in their hand protection program.
Michael says that’s a big red flag. Instead he suggests:
- Using a single manufacturer for glove purchasing to guarantee product continuity.
- Creating a list that can only be edited by the head of safety, procurement and the hand protection specialist.
“Drop the cost questions, add the safety questions and it’ll always work out.”
(If the FREE Advocate Hand Protection Program sounds like something that could benefit your business, click the button below)