Keeping Employees "Comfortably" Safe

Understand the different types of hazards FRC and PPE address, and how the right partnership can help to keep employees safe.

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As the summer months and increased temperatures roll in, companies often try to balance their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Flame Resistant Clothing (FRC) strategies with the overall comfort of their employees. However, this desire to decrease heat stress in the warmer months can lead to increased risks when safety protocols are not followed as closely as necessary. For example, when employees do not wear appropriate FRC or PPE, or do not wear every item in order to stay cool. So, how do companies make sure employees stay safe in hot temperatures? By understanding the risks that are out there, and creating a strong partnership with industry experts.

Types of Hazards

It is important for companies to understand the different types of hazards that are addressed by PPE or FRC before implementing a safety program. After all, various hazards have different regulations, affect diverse industries and require distinct solutions.

  • Electric arc flash is a dangerous explosion caused by an electrical fault, which can impact electrical, utility and maintenance workers.
  • Flash fire is an intense flame that erupts without warning and spreads rapidly in seconds. This hazard affects petroleum and chemical industries.
  • Molten metal splash can occur in welding or metal casting industries when moisture or wet materials are introduced, causing the metal to explode.
  • Combustible dust can cause explosions in large factories due to dust accumulation over time.

Does Compliant Mean Safe?

Many kinds of businesses are impacted by these hazards, but can they handle a complex plan? Bigger companies tend to be more aware of safety regulations, but are challenged in the execution across multiple regional locations. Smaller companies, on the other hand, have the ability to carry out safety strategies easily, but often don’t have full-time safety employees to devote to the management of these programs. And, safety compliance does not necessarily mean that hazards are reduced or eliminated. In fact, most experts consider compliance a low-bar achievement.

This is where a relationship with an FRC and PPE provider can really make a difference. For example, Cintas can provide your employees with FRC, PPE and design a laundry service program to fit your company’s needs. With their diverse offerings in uniforms and safety products, Cintas can execute consistent plans across many locations and also support smaller, internal teams.

Advanced Safety Gear

With 1 out of every 10 workers still in need of appropriate PPE or FRC gear, the amount of time, money and resources being spent on creating safety equipment has never been greater. The result? An increased awareness among experts of what employees want and need, which is driving innovative clothing solutions.

Industry leaders are conducting market research to understand what people want to wear in extreme working environments, and why they don’t wear what is available. Also, PPE and FRC manufacturers are looking towards established clothing companies known for comfort in the workplace to create the best solution. For example, Cintas recently partnered with Carhartt, a brand that employees enjoy wearing. Now, Cintas is able to provide clothes that employees choose to wear regardless of season, instead of being forced to wear, which increases employee compliance in the PPE or FRC programs.

The Value of a Partnership

Finding the right team of safety experts to complement your PPE and FRC strategies is an obvious need. But what about finding a partnership with a PPE and FRC supplier that increases account management, and that assists in the smooth operation of your safety programs? Corporate United’s relationship with Cintas helps to provide members with up-to-date safety solutions, and aids in the management of members’ programs, while collaborating to reach mutually agreed-upon goals. Visit the Corporate United Fire Protection program page to learn more.

This blog post was a collaborative piece between Corporate United and our supplier partner, Cintas. We thank Cintas for providing valuable information that guided this discussion.

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Megan Urbas: Category Manager - Facilities at Corporate United
Megan is responsible for Category Management within the Facilities vertical. In this role, she serves as a category manager for Uniform & Facility Services, Fire Protection, First Aid & Safety, Branded Apparel, Total Waste Management, Material Handling and Small Parcel Solutions agreements. She works cross-functionally with stakeholders and suppliers to provide ongoing program support and implementation on existing and new growth categories. She also serves as a key advocate for Corporate United supplier relationships.