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Incident Reports: A Telltale Sign Your Company Needs Better Uniforms

Posted by Jim Wasserson on 11/21/16 7:27 AM

Too many incident reports could mean you're due for new uniforms!An employee has just filled out an incident report. You now have to take the time to process it with your insurance carrier. This can be a daunting process and very costly if you haven’t followed every step for creating a safe work environment. So, how can this be prevented?

If frequent incident reports are becoming detrimental to running your business, it’s important to look at the root cause and implement preventative measures. Some of these causes are hazards that simply come with the type of industry you're in. In this case, it’s important not to just label the hazards, but to also protect the employee with the right personal protective equipment (PPE) that are up to your industry's standards. Even if you already have uniforms, their quality and level of protection should be inspected and improved if necessary. To ensure your employees are following the appropriate safety standards, your best option is to provide them with the proper uniforms that adhere to or exceed all regulations. From here you have two options:

1. Buy and Provide Your Own Uniforms

If you’re able to maintain and provide uniforms in-house, this can be a beneficial option. Providing your own uniforms can become complicated, however, and cost more in the long-term. If you aren’t able to maintain uniforms on site and will rely on employees to clean and maintain them at home, this may not be ideal, especially if your company works with chemicals, food processing, or manufacturing. Here we’ll break down when providing your own uniforms would be ideal and when you should look for other solutions:

When to Buy Your Own Uniforms

  • You have the capacity to clean and maintain uniforms in-house
  • You have a source for consistent uniform style and branding (important for new hires)
  • You have a high-retention workplace

When NOT to Buy Your Own Uniforms

  • You have to outsource cleaning and repairs
  • Your employees will have to be responsible for cleaning and maintenance
  • Your workers put constant wear on their uniforms, requiring frequent maintenance
  • You have a high turnover rate

For many companies, buying and maintaining their own uniforms often ends up being more costly than initially envisioned. Along with buying new uniforms for each employee and new hire, you also have to worry about constant maintenance fees. While you could opt to push maintenance and cleaning of uniforms on to the employees, this often causes distress and doesn’t ensure that your employee uniforms will be fully up to code if proper maintenance is not done. If your purpose is to reduce the risk of hazards, you’ll want to make sure your uniforms are being handled by professionals to ensure you are up to code and your employees are safe from workplace hazards.

2. Partner With a Uniform Vendor

If you already have a uniform vendor, work with your provider and look for ways in which your employee’s PPE can be more protective and make the necessary changes. If you haven’t invested in uniforms yet, now is the ideal time to consider what a uniform vendor can do for your company in terms of safety. Here are the situations in which you should and shouldn’t work with a uniform rental company:

When to Partner With a Uniform Vendor

  • You want to ensure your uniforms are always cleaned and maintained up to standards
  • You don’t have the capacity to clean and maintain uniforms in-house and don’t want to put the responsibility on your employees
  • You want simple flat rate charges for maintaining your uniforms
  • You want a guaranteed source for consistent uniform style and branding

When NOT to Partner With a Uniform Vendor

  • You can’t find a vendor who will meet your needs (many uniform vendors strictly sell from their catalog, while some are more willing to meet the specific needs of your company)
  • The vendor’s rates are more costly than supplying your own uniforms in the long run

Partnering with a uniform vendor can be extremely beneficial, especially if your company doesn’t have the capacity to manage uniforms on its own. It’s also the best way to ensure your worker PPE is properly maintained and up to your industry’s regulations. Not all uniform vendors are equal and you should carefully vet them before signing any contracts.

Find the Right Uniform Vendor

When looking for a vendor, you’ll want to partner who has your company’s best interest in mind, even if they have to go the extra mile to meet your uniform specifications. In our experience working with clients, we’ve found that catering to a company’s specific needs rather than simply picking a uniform from a catalog helps to create uniform solutions that last. For a company dealing with an increase in incident reports, we can help them meet their safety goals and even customize uniforms to suit specific work processes. Need a new uniform solution? Consult our experts and get the long-term uniform solution you need!

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Topics: risk management