We all know the scenario; H&S states that staff must be provided with the correct PPE, and that “an employer cannot ask for money from an employee for PPE, whether it is returnable or not.”
But for optimum productivity items need to be easily accessible, which means having a manned store or accepting that items will ‘go walking’.
Well not anymore! Vending machines are now the ultimate controlled store. By adding a card or key system, staff can get free access to items whilst the business keeps track of who uses what and when.
The machines can fit and safely vend items such as protective eyewear, safety gloves, dust masks and ear defenders. The exact layout of the machines is tailored to each customer’s specific requirements, meaning that available space inside the machine is fully utilised.
For building sites with multiple contractors, having a machine onsite for all to access means there is no excuse for anyone to be working without the required safety equipment. And by recording who uses what the company has proof that each staff member has been supplied the correct equipment and when. Plus costs can be allocated to different departments if required.
Connah’s Quay Power station in North Wales is the UK’s largest combined cycle gas turbine power station and gas treatment plant. With such a large facility, site safety is paramount. PPE is issued entirely free of charge, but Site Safety Manager, Jason Plass, was looking for a more efficient way of distributing the equipment.
“Originally, the equipment was issued from a caged store” says Jason. “That meant we had very little control over the quantity of equipment drawn, where it was going, or how it was being used.” Jason made some enquiries and felt that vending might provide the solution.
The site now has a bespoke vending machine and fully integrated cashless system. All staff need to do is to bring their proximity tag close to the machine reader and then make their selection. The equipment is dispensed automatically in the usual way. Every transaction is recorded in real time and reported back to a remote PC where Jason can monitor usage.
“We have already noticed a significant reduction in the amount of equipment used” says Jason “and that is simply because we have a handle on who is using it. I anticipate that the system will pay for itself before the year is out.”
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