How to Make Sure Your Safety Equipment Lasts as Long as Possible

Whether you work as a sole trader or as a leader in a larger business, ensuring the upkeep of your safety equipment is a vital task for keeping your work safe and stable. Equipment breakage and failure is par for the course, but poor training and treatment can often quicken the demise of certain safety items.

In times of relative economic hardship, making sure your safety equipment lasts that little bit longer can make a helpful difference to your bottom. Here are some simple ways you can go about extending the life of vital safety gear.

Buy Quality Equipment

First and foremost, the old adage “buy cheap, buy twice” holds true for lots of safety equipment – especially items you hope will last for multiple uses. Rather than relying on sub-par personal protective equipment, buying high-quality workwear made with durable materials can give you much more mileage. Higher-quality equipment can also help protect from more incidents before requiring replacement.

Consult User Guides

While there are general principles that can help you extend the lifespan of your safety equipment, certain items may require individual treatment that would not apply to others. For more bespoke or complex safety equipment, it can be helpful to read their user guides for more information on upkeep and safe usage.

Store Appropriately

Equipment and items of clothing can perish much quicker if stored incorrectly or inappropriately to their design. As such, proper and safe storage of your safety equipment can go a long way to keeping it serviceable in the long term. For the vast majority of gear and equipment, storage in a cool and dry place can help stave off any weathering effects as well as the growth of mould. Hanging up workwear after use can keep it from receiving unnecessary wear, while safety tools can be sheathed for protection from air and water.

Carry Out Regular Checks and Maintenance

Unfortunately, faults and failure are an unavoidable eventuality in the life cycle of any item of equipment. However, if faults are found sooner rather than later, they can be addressed and fixed before they get worse – thus extending the life of the item.

There are some safety items for which the discovery of a fault or issue should mean immediate retirement, though. For items of PPE that protect from airborne contaminants, for example, it would not be appropriate to attempt to patch up or stitch any holes that appear.

Train Colleagues in Safe and Correct Use

It may be that the equipment whose life you are looking to prolong is to be shared amongst more than one person – whether it is for a cohort of employees, or simply for a colleague or cohabitant of your workshop. If they will be using your safety equipment on a regular basis, it would be wise to train them in the correct use of the equipment.

This can help ensure it isn’t used inappropriately, thus mitigating the possibility of breakage. It is also worth noting that the provision of PPE training is legally required of an employer in the same fashion as the provision of PPE itself.

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