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Managing PPE Inventory with Vending Machines

March 4, 2020
Can a safety manager keep track of inventory purchases with vending and accompanied software?

While the type of injury may range from sprains, cuts or overexertion to contact with objects and slips and falls, there is one consistent similarity.

According to OSHA, on average 70% of workers who experienced a hand injury were not wearing gloves. When workers have access to the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to safely do their job, these injuries are significantly reduced.

When a proper PPE program is implemented, companies often see a reduction in occupational injuries and medical claims. What’s more, when companies have high incident rates due to failure to enforce a strict PPE program, they tend to experience a loss in manpower, higher workers’ compensation costs and regulatory fines.

Industrial vending combined with inventory control software is a solution for employers wishing to improve their safety program without sacrificing control. No matter what items are vended, employers can customize user permissions and restrictions to align with standard operating procedures.

Want only one pair of gloves vended per hour, day, week, month? That’s not a problem when you pair powerful inventory control software with your industrial vending machine.

Vending machines like traditional coil machines, locker machines and combination units provide workers access to the safety equipment and personal protective equipment they need to safely perform their work.

Rather than a crib that requires workers to travel from one part of the facility to another, industrial vending allows for point-of-use dispensing that reduces the amount of walking time. Plus, vending offers safety directors and production managers increased visibility into item usage for improved spending and compliance, making vending a cost-effective solution. By vending common safety supplies like safety eyewear, protective gloves, earplugs and respirators, employers experience:

Increased Compliance: End-users have 24/7 access to the material they need to work safely and zero excuses for not wearing them. 

Increased Productivity: Employees spend less time searching for PPE and safety supplies or procuring out-of-stock items. Plus, workers will be less likely to miss work due to injury.

Improved Accountability: Vending offers customizable user permissions and restrictions for better control of inventory and improved employee accountability on both disposable and returnable items. Employers know exactly who is using PPE and who isn’t.

Automated Replenishment: When safety items reach a customizable minimum, it triggers replenishment automatically, saving time spent ordering commonly-used items.

Improved PPE Compatibility: Vending provides consistent organization, storage, tracking and documentation of compatible PPE supplies for improved safety and compliance.

Vending not only improves access to mission-critical safety items, it also helps the company control costs.

Reduced Shrinkage: Track employee usage and limit quantities to reduce supply hoarding and lost or stolen items. With vending, employees become responsible for the items they use.

Tracking and Reporting Capability: Achieve visibility and precise inventory control for lean management with robust usage reporting on disposable items and check-in/check-out capability on larger, returnable items.

The role of a safety manager is a tough job already, without having to wonder if their employees are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment they need to work safely. Industrial vending guided by powerful and easy-to-use inventory control software can make that job just a bit easier. 

About the Author

Mark Hill

Mark Hill has 40 years of experience in industrial distribution and vending. He is the founder of vending machine and inventory control software company 1sourcevend

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