If protective workwear is for the benefit of the worker, why not ask them to buy their own? This is a dilemma that many organizations face.
Let’s be honest. You wouldn’t think of going fishing without bringing along the right tackle. Would you?
Then why allow your workers to work without protective workwear? Protective workwear keeps workers safe from injuries.
Protective workwear is, to a large extent, personal. Yet, providing it for your staff speaks volumes. It shows the organization’s attitude and commitment to the safety of its staff.
1. Promotes an organization’s brand.
2. Encourages uniformity and professionalism at work.
3. Helps an organization follow the set regulations.
4. Makes the workplace safe and secure to work in.
5. Saves the organization money.
6. Fosters team spirit in an organization.
Your staff’s workwear forms a key part of your company’s identity. It is a great marketing opportunity for your organization.
If used well, you can establish a strong brand identity. Which helps in making your brand recognizable to the public, and more likely to generate repeat customers.
To maximize this, customize the workwear. Include your organization’s logo and corporate colors on it. This helps to make it distinct from other companies.
Every time your workers wear their branded workwear, it markets your organization. Those who don’t know it gain awareness. And as for your regular clients, the branding enables them to spot your company from a distance.
You can brand your workwear in either of these two styles:
● Printing. This is a fast and cost-effective method. You can print the company logo on any material, including high-visibility jackets.
● Embroidery. This involves stitching the logo on the fabric. Making it ideal for non-waterproof workwear. Embroidery is longer-lasting than printing even after several industrial washings of workwear. Also, the process takes a longer time than printing. Embroidery is advisable when branding workwear using small logos.
It is difficult for workers to flout rules when they are wearing branded workwear. Your organization can use this to its advantage.
When your staff is in matching uniforms they become the spokespeople for your company. A branded uniform helps staff embody the company and keep them in character throughout their shift.
Customers are more relaxed approaching staff in uniform. When staff is in uniform customers feel more comfortable approaching them with questions, concerns, or advice. The uniform represents the brand and signifies to the customer that the employee is there to help.
Branded workwear presents a professional image of your organization. Clients can identify your staff and the company they associate with. This improves client service.
This can also lead to more business. When people see your staff looking professional, they may want to work with you or seek your organization’s services.
It creates uniformity and equality. Everyone looks the same and feels comfortable at work.
There are laws that demand organizations to safeguard the safety of their workers. Failure to adhere to the law results in consequences.
For example, New Zealand has a Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA). The act states that a person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is practicable, the health and safety of workers. Also, that others are not placed at risk by the execution of the work.
This is a primary duty of care of an organization to its staff. You don’t want your organization to neglect this duty. You risk a legal suit when on the wrong side of the law.
There are different levels of protection depending on the level of risk. But how does an organization know what workwear to provide staff with to keep them safe?
For example, there are different classifications of hi-vis workwear. Each depends on the level of risk exposed to:
● Class 1. This is the lowest and most basic level of protection. Wear protective workwear in work environments of minimal risks. For example, wearing only a hi-vis shirt or trousers, but not both.
● Class 2. This is an intermediate level of protection. The protective workwear is more visible in the dark with shining headlights. For example, wearing a safety vest.
● Class 3. This is the highest level of protection. It is for environments that have a high level of risk. For example, wearing a hi-vis overall.
Protective workwear makes employees feel safe and comfortable at work. It shows that the organization cares about the wellbeing of its staff.
Many industrial workplaces can be dangerous. Especially for employees who are not wearing proper protective equipment.
By ensuring that your employees have access to appropriate, high-quality, and industry-specific workwear as well as a trusted laundering service, you make the statement that you genuinely care about the health and well-being of your staff.
This positions the organization as the ideal work environment for prospective and current workers. The organization doesn’t have to worry about losing its skilled workforce.
When workers feel safe and secure, they are more engaged at work. They also stay longer with organizations. This reduces time off work because of illness or injury. The Queen’s School of Business and the Gallup Organization back this research.
The studies showed that disengaged workers had a 37% higher rate of absenteeism. Also, 49% of these workers had more accidents, and 60% had more errors and defects.
With protective workwear, it is also easy to identify those breaking the rules. Refusal to wear protective wear can be catastrophic for the individual and company. You can face legal action in case of an accident.
Claims from accidents at work are costly! As an organization, you lose money, trained human resources and working days.
In fact, the cost can be so much that it drives you out of business. That is why organizations need to have safety measures in place to protect them in case of an accident.
Many organizations shy away from the cost of purchasing protective workwear for staff. This is a huge cost, especially where you have hundreds of staff.
While it might be an initial expense, you can save on lowered insurance premiums. This will help you recoup the costs associated with purchasing the protective workwear.
Besides buying protective workwear, put in place training programs to prevent injury and illness. This helps in risk reduction.
Sometimes, your insurance provider may lower your premium. This happens if there is a lower safety risk based on the measures your organization has taken.
Studies show organizations that invest in safety at work save money through:
● Reduction of insurance premiums for workers’ compensation.
● Fewer resources spent on the paperwork of filing injury and illness reports.
● Less money spent on compensating workers.
● Fewer resources spent to train new staff. Also to replace those absent from work due to injuries, illness or death from work injuries.
Let’s take sports for example.
Notice how fans of a sports team wear their branded gear with pride?
It makes them feel part of the team. They are happy and proud to associate with that team.
They spend money purchasing branded items of their team so they can feel a sense of belonging.
That is how you want your staff to feel when they wear branded protective workwear. To ensure this, buy protective workwear that plays a functional and an aesthetic role.
You want your staff to not only be protected but also look good in their workwear. Let the protective workwear be well-fitting.
Factor in different styles and body shapes of your staff. Also, be gender-sensitive. This may seem expensive but remember it is a worthy investment.
It promotes unity and a sense of belonging among staff. Staff are proud to associate with your organization. They look out for each other and for the interest of the company.
This can turn your staff into brand ambassadors. When the staff is happy at work, their performance improves. There is also an increase in productivity.
Article contribution by Alsco New Zealand. Alsco aims to help create a healthier and safer workplace by providing affordable yet high-quality uniform rental service and hospital-grade first aid solutions.
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