Myth: Hand protection as a consumable should be a low-cost commoditised offering.
Hands are an indispensable tool that we count on all day, every day. Hands belong to people, and we know that people are the biggest asset in any company. And yet, gloves…
Gloves can often be seen slipping down the priority rankings in organisations, having become heavily commoditised due to their consumable nature.
We see gloves as a protective second skin, a unique combination of engineering and art that deserves celebrating. Throughout organisations, there needs to be a paradigm shift to recognise that gloves are a technical piece of equipment protecting highly valuable tools.
Analysing the true cost
Insights have shown us that, in many companies, over 60% of overall PPE spend is on gloves. Unfortunately, safety procurement often centres around examining a product unit cost.
When gloves are commoditised and simply the cheapest is purchased, generally several other key factors are overlooked that contribute to the total cost, for example:
- The glove’s ability to protect against hand injuries
- The durability and wear life of the glove
- Whether the glove impacts wearer’s functionality and productivity
- Levels of waste generated from regular disposal of gloves.
Case Study: Up until March, a company we have worked closely with were purchasing a glove for £1.10/pair, and the glove was disposed of at the end of every working day. The organisation made the decision to switch to an alternative glove costing in the region of £7/pair, but this glove lasted for 10 working days. Immediately, that offered over a 35% cost saving per pair, solely on like-for-like durability, without mentioning a significant increase in protection and functionality levels provided by the alternative glove, as well as a significant reduction in waste.
If gloves are viewed as a technical piece of equipment from a high level within an organisation, ultimately, the wearers will feel empowered to look after their ‘equipment’ rather than treat it as a disposable item.
Secondly, with added benefits of higher specification gloves, such as touchscreen compatibility, wearers can perform their tasks more efficiently and effectively.
Hand injuries continue to equate to anything between 20% and 60% of total injuries on many sites.
When all is said and done, regardless of the price of the glove, if it is not protecting hands, you are not getting return on investment, through downtime, lost time, claims etc.
The change of mindset sits with glove manufacturers too. As a glove manufacturer, we must provide maximum support and have a conscientiousness that it’s not just about supplying gloves but it’s about supplying the right glove.
If the hand protection issued was more effective, how much closer could we get to 0 hand injuries?