A recent FlexPAC client was struggling with hand injuries, employee compliance with personal protection equipment (PPE), and increasing costs of gloves. The right protection they needed was going to cost 3x more and budgets were tight. The innovative PPE Reconditioning Program solution that was trialed allowed the employer of 400 to implement a robust, cut-resistant sleeve and glove combination, which reduced near misses and injuries by 34%. With the new gloves and sleeves provided by FlexPAC, employees not only experienced an increase in comfort, breathability, and dexterity — but also productivity. The result – the company decreased their year over year costs by 11% and employee safety improved.
The manufacturer of vent hoods and small sheet metal parts had constant complaints from employees about the durability of their gloves and sleeves. The current PPE did not offer the dexterity needed to easily perform their tasks, which often included small parts assembly. Supervisors at the plant constantly battled employees to wear their PPE correctly, making no glove injuries common. The customer needed to implement a PPE program that enabled them to purchase higher priced, higher quality gloves, but also reduce the total spend for PPE. They also needed to reduce the frequency of hand injuries on metal parts as the cost of treatment quickly began to build.
After a plant-wide PPE Assessment, including employee interviews, PPE trials were conducted on current PPE and the proposed PPE solution. The new solutions included cut-resistant gloves and sleeves. It was important to the client that the solution had to be not only safe, but also well-received by the employees. A PPE Reconditioning Program was also trialed, which included a multi-step process made up of sanitizing all current gloves and sleeves, a hand inspection, and metal-detection. The trail showed that most of the PPE previously used by the company was actually thrown away before it’s full life was achieved. After the reconditioning, employees were not able to tell the difference between the new and reconditioned PPE. Improved safety was key. The option presented was latex-free and ANSI Cut Level 2 and higher to protect employees from the sharp sheet metal burrs. Employees were skeptical, but the results were apparent almost immediately.
Results, Return on Investment, and Future Plans
With FlexPAC’s solution, the two goals of safer employees and cost reduction were achieved. At an additional, upfront cost of 3x more per glove pair, the overall reduction and year over year savings will be 11%. This reduction in injuries coupled with the savings in glove spend made the implementation an easy decision. One employee stated, “These gloves are more comfortable and breathe better than the previous gloves”. A more comfortable option for the employees has translated into better compliance, teamwork, and production.