6 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Safety Partner

All companies, regardless of their industry, share one thing in common; their most valuable asset is their employees. But how do you make sure you are doing all you can to protect your most valuable asset? 

If you are like most conscientious firms, your search to find the ideal safety partner � preferably a comprehensive single-source safety supplier � includes creating a short list of potential organizations who claim they are the perfect company to help you protect your co-workers. The problem is that no two safety providers are the same. As a result, finding the right partner can be challenging.

To assist you in making the proper choice in your safety selection process, we created a list of six essential questions to ask during your vetting process.

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1) Will your Safety Partner Provide a Comprehensive Solution, Including EH&S, Administrative Control and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

There are a plethora of companies who will sell you PPE or claim to do safety training. You can even find companies who will come to your facility and conduct a safety audit. The problem with dealing with multiple companies to provide your safety needs is that this approach is disjointed and the overall cost of your program will be significantly higher.

To have a truly effective safety program, you need a safety partner who can provide a comprehensive safety solution. Which includes assessing your current safety needs and risks as well as creating, documenting and implementing a safety program. In addition, you need to support that program with the proper PPE, training and technology to reduce workplace incidents.

2) Does your safety partner manufacture their own line of PPE?

As a user of PPE, you are fortunate to have a wide variety of companies from which to purchase. However, not all providers of PPE are going to be right for your firm. While it is true many safety companies sell the same national brands, the differentiator is safety partners who manufacture their own line of PPE.  To be clear, we are not referring to national manufacturers who simply rebrand their current line with the logo of a safety company. Instead, we are talking about a safety company who actually manufactures their own organic line and delivers quality products at a lower cost.

When differentiating between those firms who manufacture their own private brand, it is important to ask if the safety provider has a research and development team. An R&D team shows a commitment to not only stay ahead of marketplace needs but to continuously test and improve their line. An additional benefit of working with a safety partner who also manufacture's is the ability to customize product specific to your needs. If, for example, providing a customized glove with attributes, not on the market would enhance safety at your facility, a safety partner with manufacturing capability can deliver you this glove. The flexibility to custom design products with the end user's input is not offered by traditional safety product distributors. 

3) Does Your Safety Partner Have Multiple Distribution Centers Across the Country to Reduce Delivery Time?

Having the right safety products when you need them is a critical component of keeping your workers safe. Working with a safety partner that has multiple distribution centers across the country assures decreased shipping times and that your safety-related orders will arrive on time when you need them. 

To eliminate the wait time for your safety products altogether, ask your safety provider if they have the ability to create an on-site storeroom at your facility, vending options, or other vendor managed inventory programs.  

4) Is Your Safety Partner More Interested in "Selling Stuff"� or Creating a Culture of Safety Within Your Organization?

When a potential safety partner focuses on sale items, lesser quality products, discounts on overstocked merchandise, and so on, you know they are not nearly as interested in the safety of your colleagues as they are in moving product.

The reality is, while paying the lowest cost for PPE might appear to help your bottom line today, it is only when a comprehensive culture of safety is created that your company can expect real savings. Savings that greatly exceed the couple of cents you may receive on each pair of a bulk glove order. You should be striving for real and significant savings that come from lower incident rates, lower workers' comp claims and happier employees.

5) Will Your Safety Partner Guarantee That They Can Create and Help Implement a Plan That Will Reduce the Number of Incidents at your Location(s)?

It's no longer enough to simply purchase the right type of PPE. You need a safety partner who will work with you to identify opportunities for improvement, demonstrate proven strategies to reduce incidents and then provide you with documented cost savings reports.

Is your safety partner a trusted advisor who is not trying to "sell"� you, but instead "guide"� you with options that work best for your organization? It is important to ensure your safety partner has a proven track record in reducing the number of incidents and reducing expenses across an organization.  You can judge the confidence of your safety partner to reduce your incident rates by their ability to put skin in the game and offer a money back guarantee if they don't reduce incidents by at least 10%. Then, and only then, will you know you are working with a true safety partner who is invested in the process to help your workers stay safe while reducing the costs associated with safety. 

6) Is Your Safety Partner Committed to Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets (employees) by Recognizing the Social Impact of a Safe Working Environment � Including That Human Life is Priceless?

 To some safety companies, it's a numbers game. Sell, or re-sell, as many products as possible to make sales quotas. While other "catalog"� companies offer safety items, safety is clearly not their expertise. They consider safety just another product line, not unlike paint brushes or screws.

You and your workers deserve better. You deserve to work with safety professionals who want to partner with you, who desire to understand your unique needs, work with you and your workers to find the best solutions, and partner with you to drive down injuries and your overall costs.

Having a safety partner who can not only provide your team with the proper PPE but employs a staff of full-time EH&S professionals you can trust, will ensure you are compliant and will lower your injury rates. If, after your exhaustive search to find the right safety partner, you are no closer to selecting a firm than when you started, let this mantra guide you: "Work with a company that is passionate about safety and helping your workers get home safely every day."�

At Arbill, we invest our expertise to help organizations, like yours, keep workers safe. As a company dedicated to worker protection, we see the probability for the most disabling workplace inju­ries and illnesses and we focus on preventing them. We envision a future in which every worker makes it home safely, every day. Working together, we WILL reduce injuries in your workplace. That's our mission. That's how we can help you combat the rising costs of injuries... and, most importantly, protect your workers.

To download our comprehensive white paper on this topic click here.  

To see how Arbill can partner with you to reduce costs and keep your workers safe schedule a free consultation with an Arbill Safety Expert today or give us a call at 1-800-523-5367.


Have a Safe Day!