Safety Articles

Article # 3150

Safety Q & A

Q: We made the change to disposable garments some time ago, and are pleased overall. However, we wonder if there are additional economies?

A: Depending on your application, there may be other ways to realize the best value for your dollar.
1. Use the right disposable for the right job. Disposable materials vary dramatically in composition, performance characteristics and price. A classic example is the "overkill" factor. Often plants with a minimal exposure requiring flame retardancy, will end up using the more expensive flame retardant garment as the standard plant-wide. Isolate specialty clothing application, and use only where necessary. One easy way to do this is to color code products by application.
2. Save big with smaller sizes. Sometimes there is a tendency to oversize in disposables for convenience. Since larger sizes require more material and higher cutting costs to manufacture, they can cost more than standard sizes. If your workforce permits, use as many of the smaller sizes as possible, and negotiate a better price from your supplier. Don't let "XL" become a standard in your plant. It's an expensive convenience.
3. "Do you really need a coverall?" Again, out of convenience, most users tend to buy coveralls. There are numerous applications in which a combination of disposable jackets and pants could be used very cost effectively. For example, why replace an entire coverall when there is a hole in only the sleeve portion? If that worker could wear a jacket and pant combination, the replacement cost could be up to 50% less.
The bottom line is to review application, and avoid the additional cost of "convenience" that can easily become a standard part of your disposable PPE clothing program.